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Heli: xiii.ll 

S. FEB 16 1882 












If it be praiseworthy in their descendants to erect monuments in 
honor of the illustrious dead, and to perpetuate in history the lives and 
acts of those who gave shape to the past and encouragement to the 
future, surely it will not be deemed inappropriate to gather up the 
fragmentary memories of towns once vital and influential within our 
borders, but now covered with the mantle of decay, without succession, 
and wholly silent amid the voices of the present. 

Against the miasmatic influences of the swamps, Spanish perils, the 
hostility of the Aborigines, and the povertj^ and sometimes narrow 
raindedness of the Trust, did the Colonists grievously struggle in as- 
serting their dominion over the untamed lands from the Savannah to 
the Alatamaha. Nothing indicates so surely the vicissitudes and the 
mistakes encountered during that primal period of development, as the 
Dead Towns of Georgia. From each comes in turn the whisper 
of hope, the sound of the battle with nature for life and comfort, the 
sad strain of disappointment, and then the silence of nothingness. 

Of the chosen seats and characteristics of the primitive peoples who 
inhabited this territory prior to the advent of the European we have 
elsewhere spoken." 

Of the indications of a foreign occupancy antedating the colonization 
under Oglethorpe, such, for example, as those observed by DeBrahmf 
on Demetrius' island, and a few others which might be mentioned, — 
we refrain from writing, because the theories explanatory of their origin, 
possession, and abandonment, are so nebulous as to seem incapable of 
satisfactory solution. 

In narrating the traditions and grouping the almost obsolete memo- 
ries of these deserted villages we have endeavored to revive them, as 
far as practicable, in the language of those to whom we are indebted 
for their transmission. Charles C. Jones, Jr. 

Augusta, G-eorgia, February 1st, 1878. 

* " Antitinities of the Southern Incliaus, particularly of the Georgia Tribes.'" New 
York, 187:^. 

t History of the Province of Georgia, pp. 29, 30. Wormsloe, 18i'J. 







y. HARDWICK, 224 









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B leiL, Photo Lith. N. T 


Daring the four years commeiiciug in 1729 and ending 
in 1732, 'more than thirty thousand Saltzburgers, impelled 
by the fierce persecutions of Leopold, abandoned their 
homes in the broad valley of the Salza and sought refuge 
in Prussia, Holland, and England, where their past suf- 
ferings and present Avants enlisted substantial sympathy 
and relief from Protestant communities. Persuaded by 
the "Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge," 
and acting upon the invitation of the Trustees of the 
Colony of Georgia, — who engaged not only to advance the 
funds necessar}' to defray the expenses of the journey and 
purchase the requisite sea-stores, but also to allot to each 
emigrant on his arrival in Georgia fifty acres of land in fee,« 
and provisions sufficient to maintain himself and family 
until such land could be made available for support, — 
forty-two Saltzburgers, with their wives and children, — 
numbering in all seventy-eight souls, — set out from the 
town of Berchtolsgaden and its vicinity for Rotterdam, 
whence they were to be transported free of charge to 
Dover, England. At Rotterdam they were joined by their 
chosen religious teachers, the Reverend John Martin Bol- 
zius and the Reverend Israel Christian Gronau. The oath 
of loyality having been administered to them at Dover by 
the Trustees, these pious, industrious, and honest emi- 


grants, on the 28tli of December, 1733, set sail in the ship 
Purisburg and, after a tedious and perilous passage, reached 
Charlestown, South Carolina, in safety. Mr. Oglethorpe, 
chancing to be there at the time, arranged that the Saltz- 
burgers should proceed without delay to Savannah. The 
Savannah river was entered by them on the 10th of March, 
1734. It was Reminiscere Sunday, according to the Lutheran 
calendar ; — the gospel of the day being " Our Blessed Sa- 
viour came to the Borders of the Heathen after He had 
been persecuted in His own Country." "Lying in fine 
and calm weather, under the Shore of our beloved Georgia, 
where we heard the Birds sing melodiously, every Body 
in the ship was joyful. " So wTote the Reverend Mr. 
Bolzius, the faithful attendant and spiritual guide of this 
Protestant band. He tells us also, that two days after- 
wards, when the ship arrived at the place of landing, " al- 
most all the Inhabitants of the Town of Savannah were 
gather'd together; they fired off some Cannons, and cried 
Huzzah! which was answer'd by our Sailors, and othei' 
English People in our Ship in the same manner. Some 
of us were immediately fetch'd on Shore in a Boat, and 
carried about the City, into the woods, and the new Garden 
belonging to the Trustees. In the meantime a very good 
Dinner was prepared for us : And the Saltzhiirgers, who had 
yet fresh Meat in the Ship, when they came on shore, 
they got very good and wholesome English strong Beer. 
And besides the Inhabitants shewing them a great deal of 
Kindness, and the Country pleasing them, they were full 
of Joy and praised God for it."^ 

Leaving his people comfortably located in tents, and in 
the hospitable care of the Colonists at Savannah, Mr. Yon 

* Extract of the Journals of Mr. Comraissary VonReck, &c., p. 32. London, 1734. 


Reck set out on horseback with Mr. Oglethorpe to take a 
view of the country and select a spot where the Saltz- 
burgers might form their settlement. At nine o'clock on 
the morning of the 17th of March they reached the place 
designated as the future home of the emigrants. It was 
about four miles below the present town of Springfield, in 
Effingham County, sterile and unattractive. To the eye of 
the Commissary, however, tired of the sea and weary of 
persecutions, it appeared a blessed spot, redolent of sweet 
hope, bright promise, and charming repose. Hear his de- 
scription : " The Lands are inclosed between two Rivers, 
which fall into the Savannah. The Saltzburg Town is to be 
built near the largest, which is called Ebenezer,^^ in Remem- 
brance that God has brought us hither ; and is navigable, 
being twelve Foot deep. A little Rivulet, whose Water is 
as clear as Crystal, glides by the Town ; another runs 
through it, and both fall into the Ebenezer. The Woods 
here' are not so thick as in other Places. The sweet Zephyrs 
preserve a delicious coolness notwithstanding the scorching 
Beams of the Sun. There are very fine Meadows, in which 
a great Quantity of Hay might be made with very little 
Pains : there are also Hillocks, very fit for Vines. The 
Cedar, Walnut, Pine, Cypress and Oak make the greatest 
part of the Woods. There is found in them a great Quantity 

of Myrtle Trees out of which they extract, by boiling 
the Berries, a green Wax, very proper to make Candles 
with. There is much Sassafras, and a great Quantity of 
those Herbs of which Indigo is made, and Abundance of 

China Roots. The Earth is so fertile that it will bring forth 
anything that can be sown or planted in it ; whether Fruits, 
Herbs, or Trees. There are wild Vines, which run up to 

* The Stone of Help. 



the Tops of tlie tallest Trees ; and the Country is so good 
that one may ride full gallop 20 or 30 miles an end: As 
to Game, here are Eagles, Wild-Turkies, Roe-Bucks, Wild- 
Goats, Stags, Wild-Cows, Horses, Hares, Partridges, and 
Buffaloes."^ Upon the return of Mr. Oglethorpe and the 
Commissary to Savannah, nine able bodied Saltzburgers 
were immediately dispatched, by the way of Abercorn, to 
Ebenezer, to cut down trees and erect shelters for the 
Colonists. On the 7th of April the rest of the emigrants 
arrived, and, with the blessing of the good Mr. Bolzius, 
entered at once upon the task of clearing land, constructing 
bridges, building shanties, and preparing a road-way to 
Abercorn. Wild honey found in a hollow^ tree greatly re- 
freshed them, and parrots and patridges made them " a very 
good dish." Upon the sandy soil the}'' fixed their hopes for 
a generous yield of peas and potatoes. To the " black, fat, 
and heavy" land they looked for all sorts of corn ; and from 
the clayey soil they purposed manufacturing bricks and 
earthen ware. On the 1st of May lots were drawn upon 
which houses were to be erected in the town of Ebenezer. 
The day following, the hearts of the people were rejoiced by 
the coming of ten cows and calves,— sent as a present from 
the Magistrates of Savannah in obedience to Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe's order. Ten casks " full of all Sorts of Seeds " ar- 
riving from Savannah, set these pious peoples to praisin^Bj 
God for all His loving kindnesses. Commiserating their 
poverty, the Indians gave them deer, and their English 
neighbors taught them how to brew a sort of beer made of 
molasses, sassafras, and pine tops. Poor Lackner dying, by 
common consent the little money he left was made the 
" Beginning of a Box for the Poor." The repeated thunder- 

Au Extract of tke Journals of Mr. Commissary VoiiReck, &c., pp. 1(5. 18. Loudou, ITSi. 


storms and hard rains penetrated tlirougli tlie rude huts 
and greatly incommoded the settlers. The water disagreed 
with them, causing serioiis affections of the bowels, until 
they found a brook, springing from a little hill, Avhich proved 
iDoth palatable and wholesome. By appointment, Monday 
the 13th of Ma}^ was observed by the congregation as a 
season of Thanksgiving. 

Depending entirely upon the charity of the Trustees for 
. supplies of all sorts, and having but few mechanics among 
them, these Saltzburgers labored under great disadvantages 
in building their little town in the depths of the woods, and 
surrounding themselves with fields and gardens. Patient 
of toil, however, and accustomed to work, they cut and 
delved away, day by day, rejoicing in their freedom, blessing 
the Giver of all good for His mercies, and observing the 
rules of honesty, morality, and piety, for wMch their sect 
had been so long distinguished. Communication with Sa- 
vannah was maintained by way of Abercorn ; to which 
place supplies were transported by water. 

Early in 1735 the settlement was materially strengthened 
and encouraged by the arrival of fifty-seven more emigrants 
under the conduct of Mr. Vatt. Among the new-comers 
were several mechanics whose knowledge, industry, and 
skill were at once applied to hewing timber, splitting shin- 
gles, and sawing boards, to the manifest improvement of the 
dwellings in Ebenezer. 

About a year afterwards occurred what is known as the 
' great emhar cation. Including some eighty Germans from 
the city of Eatisbon, under the control of Baron YonReck 
and Captain Hermsdorf, twenty-seven Moravians under the 
care of the Rev'd David Nitschman, the Rev'd John and 
Charles Wesley, and the Bev'd Mr. Ingham, — Missionaries to 


the Indians, — and a number of poor English famihes, this 
accession to the Colony of Georgia aggregated some two 
hundred and twenty-seven persons, of whom two hundred 
and two were conveyed upon the Trust's account. Francis 
Moore was appointed keeper of the stores. Oglethorpe in 
person accompanied the Colonists, and exercised a fatherly 
care over them during the voyage. They were transported 
in the Symond of 220 tons, — Capt. Joseph Cornish, — and 
the London Merchant, of like burthen, — Capt. John 
Thomas. "" During the voyage the German Dissenters " sung 
psalms and served God in their own way." Turnips, carrots, 
potatoes, and onions, issued with the salt provisions, pre- 
vented scurvy. In order to promote comfort and good 
order, the ships had been divided into cabins, with gang- 
ways between them, in which the emigrants were disposed 
according to families. The single men were located by 
themselves. Weather permitting, the vessels were cleaned 
between decks and washed with vinegar to keep them swee t 
Constables were appointed "to prevent any disorders," and 
so admirably was discipline preserved, that there was no 
occasion for punishment except in the case of a boy, "who 
was whipped for stealing of turnips." The men were 
exercised with smaU arms, and instructed by Mr. Oglethorpe 
in the duties which would devolve upon them as free-holders 
in the new settlement. To the women were given thread, 
worsted, and knitting needles ; and they were required to 
employ "their leisure time in making Stockings and Caps 
for their Family, or in mending their Cloaths and Linnen." 
In this sensible way were matters ordered on these emigrant 
ships, and the colonists, during a protracted voyage, pre- 
pared for lives of industry in their new homes. 

* Moore's Voyage to Georgia, p. 11. London, 1744. 


On the 5tli of February, 1736, these ships, with the first of 
the flood, were carried over Tjbee bar and found safe 
anchorage within. The emigrants were temporarily landed 
on Peeper island, where they dug a well and washed their 
clothes. It was Mr. Oglethorpe's purpose to send most of 
these Saltzburgers to Frederic a that they might assist in the 
development of that town and the construction of its fortifi- 
cations. Desiring the benefit of their ministers, not wishing 
to divide their congregation, and being reluctant to go to 
the Southward where " they apprehended blows," — fighting 
being "against their religion," — they persuaded Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe to permit them to join their countrymen at Ebenezer, 
whither they accordingly went some days afterwards and 
were heartily welcomed. It will be remembered, however, 
that Captain Hermsdorf, with his little company, assured 
Mr. Oglethorpe "that he would never forsake him, but serve 
with the English to the last." His offer was accepted, and 
on the 16th he set out with Mr. Oglethorpe for Frederica. 

By this second accession the population of Ebenezer was 
increased so that it numbered in all some two hundred souls. 
Contentment and prosperity did not obtain in the town. 
In the fertility of the soil the inhabitants had encountered 
disappointment. Much sickness prevailed, and they were 
oppressed with the isolated character of their location. The 
creek upon which the town was situated was uncertain in 
volume, serpentine, and difficult of navigation. Although 
the distance from Old Ebenezer to the Savannah river by 
land did not exceed six miles, by following this, the only 
outlet by water, twenty-five miles must be passed before 
its confluence could be reached.'^ 

Moved by these and other depressing considerations, the 

* Slrobels' Saltzburgdrs and their Descendants, p. 87. Baltimore^ 1855. 


Reverend Messrs. Bolzius and Gronau visited Savannah 
at the instance of their flock, and conferred with Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe as to the propriety of changing the location of the 
town. Moore says the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer were so 
discontented that they " demanded to leave their old Town, 
and to settle upon the Lands which the Indians had reserved 
for their own Use."" 

Having patiently listened to the request, Mr. Oglethorpe, 
on the 9th of February, 1736, set out with the Saltzburger 
ministers and several gentlemen for Ebenezer, to make a 
personal inspection of the situation and satisfy himself with 
regard to the expediency of the removal. He was received 
with every mark of consideration, and proceeded at once 
to consider the causes which induced the inhabitants to 
desire a change. Admitting that the existing "dissatis- 
faction was not groundless, and that there were many em- 
barrassments connected with their situation," he neverthe- 
less endeavored to dissuade them from their purjDOse by 
reminding them that the labor already expended in clearing 
their lands, building houses, and constructing roads would, 
upon removal, be almost wholly lost. The hardships in- 
cident upon forming an entirely new settlement were urged 
upon their serious consideration. He also assured them 
that in clearing the forests, and in bringing the lands on 
the bank of the Savannah river under cultivation they would 
encounter the same diseases w^hicli afflicted them in their 
present location. He concluded, however, by assuring them 
that if they were resolved upon making the change he would 
not forbid it, but w^ould assist them, as far as practicable, 
in compassing their design. 

* Voj'age to Georgia, &c., p. 23. London, 1741. 

In reporting this change of location to the Trustees, Mr, Oglethorpe, on the 13th 


After this conference, and upon Mr. Oglethorpe's return 
to Savannah, the question of a change of location was again 
considered by the Saltzburgers, who resolved among them- 
selves that a removal was essential to the prosperity of their 
colony.* Acting upon this determination the community, 
without delay, set about migrating to the site selected for 
the new town. This was on a higli ridge, near the Savannah 
river, called "Red Bluff" from the peculiar color of the 
soil. It received the name of New Ebenezer ; and, to the 
simple-minded Germans, oppressed by poverty and sad- 
dened by the disappointments of the past, seemed to offer 
future happiness and much coveted prosperit}^ The labor 
of removal appears to have been compassed within less 
than two years. In June, 1738, Old Ebenezer ^ had de- 
generated into a cow-pen, where Joseph Barker resided 
and "had the care of the Trust's Cattle." William Stephens 
gives us a pitiable view of the abandoned spot when he vis- 

of February, wrote as follows : " The people at Ebeuezei; are very discontented and 
Mr. VonReck and they that come with him, refuse to settle to the Southward. I 
was forced to go to Ebenezer to quiet things there and have taken all the proceed- 
ings in writing. Finding the people were only ignorant and obstinate, but without 
any ill intention, I consented to the changing of their Town. They leave a sweet 
place where they had made great improvements, to go into a wood,"* 

=>= Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iir, p. 13. Savannah, 1873. 
Compare Harris' Biographical Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 130, 132. Boston, 18-tl, 
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 113, London, 18(JT. 

Strobel's Saltzbiirgers and their Descendants, p. 89. Baltimore, 1855. 

1| Eeverend Mr. John Wesley, writing in 1737, records in his Journal the following 
description of this abandoned settlement : " Old Ebenezer, where the Saltzburgkers settled 
at first, lies twenty-five miles w-est of Savannah. A small Creek runs by the Town, 
down to the River, and many Brooks run between the little Hills : But the soil is a 
hungry, barren sand ; and upon any sudden Shower, the Brooks rise several Feet 
perpendicular, and overflow whatever is near them. Since the Saltzburgkers remov'd, 
two English Families have been placed there ; but these too say. That the Land is good 
for nothing ; and that the Creek is of little Use ; it being by Water twenty miles to the River ; and 
the Water generally so low in Summer-time, thai a Boat cannot come within six or sevem miles of 
the Town."* 

*An Extract of the Rev. Mr. John Wesley's Journal, &c., kc, pp. 59, GO. Bristol, n. d. 


ited it on tlie 26tli of that month: — Indian traders, returning 
from Savannah, lodging for the night with Barker, who was 
unable to give due account of the cattle under his charge, 
and a servant, Sommers, moving about with " the Small- 
Pox out full upon him.""^ Thus early did " Old Ebenezer " 
take its silent place among the lost towns of Georgia. Its 
life of trials and sorrow, of ill-founded hope and sure dis- 
appointment, was measured by scarcely more than two 
years, and its frail memories were speedily lost amid the 
sighs and the shadows of the monotonous pines which 
environed the place. 

The situation of the new Town, Mr. Strobel says, was quite 
romantic. "On the east lay the Savannah with its broad, 
smooth surface and its every varying and beautiful scenery. 
On the south was a stream, then called Little Creek, but 
now known as Lockner's Creek, and a large lake called 
' Neidlinger's Sea ;' while to the north, not very distant 
from the the town, was to be seen their old acquaintance, 
Ebenezer Creek, sluggishly winding its way to mingle with 
the waters of the Savannah. The surrounding country was 
gently undulating and covered with a fine growth of forest 
trees, while the jessamine, the woodbine and the beautiful 
azaUa, with its variety of gaudy colors, added a peculiar 
richness to the picturesque scene. But unfortunately for 
the permanent prosperity of the town, it was surrounded on 

* Joiirnal of the Proceedings in Georgia, vol. i, pp. 226, 227. London, 1742. 

In 1740 this Cow-Pen was still in existence at Old Ebenezer, the Trustees having a 
great number of cattle there. "But," continiies the narrative, " they were much 
neglected, there not being Horses or Men sufficient to drive up the young and out- 
lying cattle."* 

* A State of the Province attested upon Oath in the Court of Savannah, November 
10, 1740, p. 9. London, 1742. 

Compare An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Geor- 
gia, p. 48. London, 1741. 
Harris" Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, &c., vol. ii, p. 337. London, 1748. 


three sides by low swamps which were subject to periodical 
inundation, and consequently generated a poisonous miasma 
prejudical to the health of the inhabitants.""^ 

The plan adopted in laying out the town was prescribed 
by General Oglethorpe, and closely resembles that of 
Savannah ; — the size of the lots and the width of the streets 
and lanes being in each case quite similar. To John Gerar, 
William DeBrahm, his Majesty's Surveyor General for the 
Southern District of North Ameri(;a, who in 1757 erected 
a fort at Ebenezer, are we indebted for an accurate plan 
of that town.f As the village increased, this plan was ex- 
tended ; — its distinctive characteristics being retained. 
From contemporaneous notices we learn that New Ebenezer, 
within a short time after its settlement, gave manifest token 
of substantial growth and prosperity. The houses there 
erected were larger and more comfortable than those which 
had been built in the old town. Gardens and farms were 
cleared, enclosed, and brought under creditable cultivation, 
and the sedate, religious inhabitants enjoyed the fruits of 
their industry and economy. 

Funds received from Germany for that purpose were 
employed in the erection of an Orphan House, in which, 
for lack of a Church, the community worshipped for several 

We presume the account of the condition of Ebenezer 
in 1738-9, furnished by Benjamin Martyn,.}: is as interesting 
and reliable as any that can be suggested. It is as follows : 
" Fifteen miles from Furyshurg on the Georgia side, is Ebe- 
nezer, where the Saltzburghers are situated ; their Houses are 

* Sfcrobel's Saltzburgei'S and their Descendants, p. 91. Baltimore, 1855. 
t History of the Province of Georgia, &c., Plan facing p. 24. Wormsloe, 1849. 
J An Impartial Enquiry Into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, p. 47. 
London, 1741. 


neat, and regularly set out in Streets, and the whole 
CEconomy of their town, under the Influence of their Min- 
isters, Mess. Bolzius and Gronau, is very exemplary. For 
the Benefit of their Milch Cattle, a Herdsman is appointed 
to attend them in the Woods all the Day, and bring them 
Home in the Evening. Their Stock of out-lying Cattle is 
also nnder the Care of two other Herdsmen, who attend 
them in their Feeding in the Daj^, and drive them into 
Cow-Pens at night. This secures the Owners from any 
Loss, and the Herdsmen are paid by a small Contribution 
among the People. These are very industrious, and subsist 
comfortably by their Labour. Though there is no regular 
Court of Justice, as they live in Sobriety, they maintain 
great Order and Decency. In case of any Differences, the 
Minister calls three or four of the most prudent Elders 
together, who in a summary Way hear and determine as 
they think jnst, and the Parties alwa3-s acquiesce with Con- 
tent in their Judgment. They are verj^ regular in their 
public Worship, which is on Week-Days in the Evening 

Anotlier contemporaneous account is almost identical ; " On the Georgia side [of the 
Savannah river], twelve miles from Parijsburg, is the Town of Ebenezer, which thrives 
very much ; there are very good Houses built for each of the Ministers, and an 
Orphan House : and they have partly framed Houses and partly Huts, neatly built, 
and formed into regular streets ; they have a great deal of Cattle and Corn-Ground, 
so that they sell Provisions at Savannah; for they raise much more than they can 

*A State of the Province of .Georgia attested upon Oath in the Court of Savannah, 
November 10, 1740, p. 5, London, 1742. See also idem, pp. 29, 31. "An Impartial 
Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia," p. 13. London, 1741. 

Compare Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, &c., vol. ii, p. 337. 
London, 1748. 

•The Eev. Mr. John Wesley's description is as follows: "New Ebenezer, to which the 
Saltzburghers removed in March, 1736, lies six Miles Eastward from the Old, on a high bluff, 
near the Savannah Kiver Here are some Tracts of Fruitful Land, tho' the greatest 
Part of that adjoining to the Town, is Pine-barren. The Huts, 60 in number, are neatly 
and regularly built ; the little Piece of Ground allotted to each for a Garden, is every- 
where put to the best Use, no spot being left unplanted. Nay, even one of the main 
Streets, being one more than was as jet wanted, bore them this year a crop of Indian 

An Extract of the Eev. Mr. John Wesley's Journal, &c., p. 60. Bristol, n. d. 


after their Work ; and in the Forenoon and Evening on 
Sundays. Thej have built a large and convenient House for 
the Keception of Orphans, and other poor Children, who 
are maintained by Benefactions among the People, are 
well taken Care of and taught to work according as their 
Age and Ability will permit. The Number computed by Mr. 
Bolzius in June, 1738, whereof his Congregation consisted, 
was one hundred forty-six, and some more have since 
been settled among them. They are all in general so well 
pleased with their condition, that not one of their People 
has abandoned the Settlement." 

General Oglethorpe received a letter, dated Ebenezer, 
March 13, 1739, signed by forty-nine men of the Saltzbur- 
gers and verified by their Ministers, in which they assured 
him that they were well settled and pleased with the climate 
and condition of the country ; that although the season was 
hotter than that of their native land, having become ac- 
customed to it, they found it tolerable and convenient for 
working people ; and that their custom was to commence 
their out-door labor early in the morning and continue it 
until ten o'clock ; resuming it again from three in the after- 
noon until sun-set. During the heated term of mid-day, 
matters within their houses engaged their attention. The 
General was also informed that they had practically de- 
monstrated the falsity of the tale told them on their arrival 
that rice could be cultivated only by negroes. " We laugh 
at such a Talking," — -so they wrote, " seeing that several 
People of us have had, in last Harvest, a greater Crop of 
Rice than they wanted for their own Consumption. Of 
Corn, Pease, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Cabbage, &c., we had 
such a good Quantity that many Bushels are sold, and much 
was spent in feeding Cows, Calves and Hogs." The letter 


concludes with an earnest petition tliat negroes should be 
excluded from their town and neighborhood, alleging as a 
reason that their houses and gardens would be robbed by 
them, and that, "besides other great inconveniences, white 
people were in danger of life from them."'"'' 

Of humble origin and moderate education, of primitive 
habits, accustomed to labor, free from covetousness and 
ambition, temperate, industrious, frugal and orderh^, soli- 
citous for the education of their children and the mainte- 
nance of the needy and the orphan, meddling not in the 
affaks of their neighbors, acknowledging allegiance to the 
Trustees and the King of England, maintaining direct 
connection with the Lutheran Church in Germany, and sub- 
mitting without question to the decisions of their ministers 
and elders in all matters, whether of a civil or ecclesiastical 
nature, engaging in no pursuits save of an agricultural or 
a mechanical character, and little given either to excite- 
ment or wandering, these Saltzburgers for years preserved 
the integrity of their community and their religion, and 
secured for themselves a comfortable existence. As early 
as 1738 the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer made some limited 
experiment in growing cotton and were much encouraged ; — - 
the yield being abundant, and of an excellent quality. The 
Trustees, however, having fixed their hopes upon silk and 
wine, the cultivation of this plant was not countenanced. t 

It was estimated by Mr. Benjamin Martyn, Secretary of 
the Trustees, that up to the 3'ear 1741, not less than twelve 

*An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, pp. 
69, 72. London, 17^1. 

Compare A State of the Province of Georgia attested upon Oath, &c., pp. .I, 29, 30, 
32. London, 1742. 

An Account showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America, &c., pp. GO^ 
69. London, 1741. 

i See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i, p. 199. Savannah, 18ll, 


hundred German Protestants had arrived in the Colony. 
Their principal settlements were at Ebenezer, Bethany, 
Savannah, Frederica, Goshen, and along the road leading 
from Savannah to Ebenezer. They were all characterized 
by industry, sobriety, and thrift. 

About the year 1744 the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer and 
along the line of the public road running from that town 
to Savannah, through the assistance of friends in Germany, 
were enabled to build two comfortable and substantial 
houses for public worship, — one at New Ebenezer, called 
Jerusalem Church, and the other about four miles below, 
named Zion Church. The joy experienced upon the dedi- 
cation of these sacred buildings was soon turned to grief 
by the death of one of their faithful pa.stors, — the Reverend 
Israel C. Gronau, — who, in the supreme moments of a 
lingering fever, desiring a friend to support his hands 
uplifted in praise of the Great Master whom he had so long 
and so truthfully served, exclaimed " Come, Lord Jesus ! 
Amen ! ! Amen ! ! ! " and with these words, — the last upon 
his lips, — entered into peace."" 

Reverend Mr. Bolzius continued to be the principal pastor 
and, as an assistant, the Reverend Mr. Lembke Avas asso- 
ciated with him. 

As early as January 31, 1732, Sir Thomas Lombef cer- 
tified to the Trustees of the Colony that silk produced in 
Carolina possessed " as much natural Strength and Beauty 
as the Silk of Italy." In his "New and Accurate Account 
of the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia,":}: Mr. 
Oglethorpe enumerated among the chief revenues which 

* See Strobel's Saltzburgers and their Descendants, p. 123. Baltimore, 1855. 
t An Account showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia, &c.) pp. 39, 40. London,, 

+ Chapter V, pp. .55, 59. London, 1733. 


might be anticipated from the settlement of Georgia, profits 
to arise from the manufacture of silk. His opinion was that 
between forty and fifty thousand people might be advan- 
tageously employed in this business. In view of the encour- 
agement which might reasonably be expected from Parlia- 
ment, and the cheapness of the labor and land, he estimated 
that the cost of production would be at least twenty-five 
per cent, lower than that then current in Piedmont. Sharing 
in this belief, the Trustees sent to Italy for silk-worm eggs, 
and engaged the services of several Piedmontese to go to 
Georgia and instruct the Colonists in tlip. production of 
silk.^ In the grants of land to parties emigrating to Georgia 
either at their own expense or at the charge of the Charity, 
may be found covenants on the part of the grantees to 
" keep a sufficient number of white mulberry trees standing 
on every acre," or else to "plant them where they were 
wanted." A special plea is entered by Benjamin Martyn 
in behalf of silk-culture in Georgia and the manifest benefits 
to be expected. t 

The early accounts all agree in representing the pro- 
duction of silk as one of the most important matters to 
be considered and fostered in connection with the establish- 
ment and development of the Colony of Georgia. ^B 

In 1735, Queen Caroline, upon the King's birth-day, ap- 
peared in a full robe of Georgia silk ; and in 1739 a parcel 
of raw silk, brought from Georgia by Samuel Augspourguer, 
was exhibited at the Trustees' office in London to "Mr. John 
^achary, — an eminent raw-silk merchant, — and to Mr. 
Booth,— one of the greatest silk-weavers in England," — both 

* An Account showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America, p. 13. Lon- 
don, 1741. 

t Martyn's Reasons for establishing the Colony of Georgia with I'egard to the Trade of 
Great Britain, p. 9. London, 1733. 


of whom " declared it to be as fine as any Italian silk, 
and worth at least twenty shillings a pound."* 

With that industry and patience so characteristic of them 
as a people, the inhabitants of New Ebenezer were among 
the earliest and the most persevering in their efforts to 
carry into practical operation Mr. Oglethorpe's wishes in 
regard to the production of silk. In 1736 each Saltzburger 
there was presented with a mulberry tree, and two of the 
congregation were instructed by Mrs. Camuse in the art 
of reeling. 

Under date of May lltli, 1741, Mr. Bolzius, in his journal, 
records the fact that within the preceding two months 
twenty girls succeeded in making seventeen pounds of 
cocoons which were sold at Savannah for £3, 8s. The same 
year £5 were advanced by General Oglethorpe to this 
Clergyman for the purchase of trees. With this sum he pro- 
cured twelve hundred, and distributed them among the 
families of his parish. 

On the l:th of December, 1712, five hundred trees were 
sent by General Oglethorpe to Ebenezer, with a promise 
of more should they be needed. Near Mr. Bolzius' house a 
machine for the manufacture of raw-silk was erected, and 
the construction of a public Filature was contemplated. Of 
the eight hundred and forty-seven pounds of cocoons raised 
in the Colony of Georgia in 1747, about one-half was pro- 
duced by the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer. Two years after- 
wards this yield was increased to seven hundred and sixty- 
tAvo pounds of cocoons, and fifty pounds thirteen ounces of 
spun silk. Two machines were in operation in Mr. Bolzius' 
yard, capable of reeling twenty-four ounces per day. It was 

■'^ An Account showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America, &c., p. 32. 
London. 1741. 


apparent, however, that while, by ordinary labor, about two 
shillings could be earned, scarcely a shilling per diem could 
be expected by one engaged in the manufacture of silk. 
This fact proved so discouraging to the Colonists that, ex- 
cept at Ebenezer, silk culture was generally relinquished. 
The Germans persevered, and as the result of their energy, 
over a thousand pounds of cocoons and seventy-four pounds, 
two ounces of raw-silk were raised at Ebenezer in 1750, and 
sold for £110 sterling. The community was now -pvettj well 
supplied with copper basins and reeling machines. Consid- 
erable effort was made in England to attract thfe notice of 
the Home Government to this production of silk in Georgia, 
and to enlist in its behalf fostering influences at the hands 
of those in authority. In 1755 a paper was laid before the 
Lords of Trade and Plantations, signed by about forty 
eminent silk throwsters and weavers, declaring that " having 
examined about 300 wt. of Georgia raw-silk they found it as 
good as the Piedmontese, and better than the common 
Italian silks." Assurance was given that there w^as the 
utmost reason to afford "all possible encouragement for 
the raising of so valuable a commodity."^ 

In 1761 fifteen thousand two hundred and twelve pounds 
of cocoons were delivered at the Filature in Savannah, then 
under the charge of Mr. Ottolenghe, of which eight thou- 
sand six hundred and ninety-five pounds were contributed 
by the Saltzburgers. In 1766 the production of silk in 
Georgia reached its acme, and from that time, despite the 
encouragement extended by Parliament, contmued to de- 
cline until it was practically abandoned a few years before 
the inception of the Kevolution. Operations at the Filature 

* Gentleman's Magazine for 1755, p. 185. 
London " " " p. 186. 



in Savannah were discontinued in 1771 ; and Sir James 
Wright, in his message to the Commons House of Assem- 
bly, under date 19th of January, 1771, alhides to the fact 
that the Filature buildings were falling into decay, and 
suggests that they be put to some other use. 

Despite the disinclination existing in other portions of 
the Colony to devote much time and labor to the growing 
of trees and the manufacture of silk, the Saltzburgers, — 
incited by their worthy magistrate, Mr. Wertsch, — redoubled 
their efforts, and in 1770, as the result of their industry, 
shipped two hundred and ninety-one pounds of raw-silk. 
At the suggestion of the Earl of Hillsborough, who w^armly 
commended the zeal of these Germans and interested him- 
self in procuring from Parliament a small sum to be ex- 
ponded in aid of the more indigent of the community, Mr. 
Habersham distributed among them the basins and reels 
then being in the unused public Filature in Savannah. 

"So popular had the silk business become at Ebenezer 
that Mr. Habersham, in a letter dated the 30tli of March, 
1772, says : 'Some persons in almost every family there un- 
derstand its process from the beginning to the end.' In 1771 
the Germans sent four hundred and thirty-eight pounds 
of raw silk to England, and in 1772 four hundred and eighty- 
five pounds: — all of their own raising. They made their 
own reels, which were so much esteemed that one was sent 
to England as a model, and another taken to the East Indies 
by Pickering Robinson."^'" 

In the face of the distractions encountered upon the 
commencement of hostilities between the Colonies and the 
Mother Country, silk culture languished even among these 

*Silk Culture in Georgia, by Dr. Stevens. Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 410, ill. 
Boston, 1841. 


Germans, and was never afterwards revived to any consid- 
erable degree. The unfriendliness of climate, the high price 
of labor, the withdrawal of all bomit}^ — which had been the 
chief stimulus to exertion, — and the larger profits to be de- 
rived from the cultivation of rice and cotton combined to 
interrupt silk -raising, and, in the end, caused its total 

The construction of a bridge over Ebenezer creek ma- 
terially promoted the interests and the convenience of those 
residing at Ebenezer ; and the erection of Churches at 
Bethany and Goshen, — the former about five miles north- 
west of Ebenezer, and the latter some ten miles below and 
near the road leading to Savannah, — indicated the growth 
of the German plantations along the line of the Savannah 

The settlement at Bethany was eftected in 1751 by John 
Gerar William DeBrahm, avIio there located one hundred 
and sixty Germans. Eleven months afterwards these Colo- 
nists w^ere joined by an equal number, — " the Relations and 
Acquaintance of the former." The Saltzburgers then num- 
bered about fifteen hundred souls.'"' Alluding to the location 
and growth of these plantations, and the agricultural pur- 
suits of their cultivators, Surveyor-General DeBrahm says : 
"The German Settlements have since Streatched S: East- 
wardly about 32 miles N : W-ward fi'om the Sea upon Sa- 
vannah Stream, from whence they extend up the same 
Stream through the whole Salt Air Zona. They cultivate 
European and American Grains to Perfection ; as Wheat, 
Rye, Barley, Oats ; also Elax, Hemp, Tobacco and Rice, 
Indigo, Maize, Peas, Pompions, Melons — they plant Mul- 
berry, Apple, Peach, Nectorins, Plumbs and Quince Trees, 

* History of tlie Proviuce of Georgia, &c. p. 20. Wormsloe, 1749. 

OLi), A>^D NEW EiBENEZER. ,91 

besides all manner of European Garden Herbs, but, in 
particular, tliev Cliose the Culture of silk their principal 
Object, in which Culture they made such a Progress, that 
the Filature, which is erected in the City of Savannah could 
afford to send in 1768 to London 1,081 Pounds of raw Silk, 
equal in Goodness to that manufactured in Piemont ; but 
the Bounties to encourage that Manufactory being taken off*, 
they discouraged, dropt their hands from that Culture from 
year to year in a manner, that in 1771 its Product w^as 
only 290 Pounds in lieu of 1,461:, which must have been that 
year's Produce, had this Manufactory been encouraged to 
increase at a 16 years rate. In lieu of Silk they have taken 
under more Consideration the Culture of Maize, Pice, Indigo, 
Hemp & Tobacco : But the Yines have not as yet become 
an Object of their Attention, altho' in the Country especially 
over the German Settlements, Nature makes all the Promises, 
yea gives yearly full Assurances of her Assistance by her 
own Endeavours producing Clusture Grapes in x\bundance 
on its uncultivated Yines ; yet there is no Person, who will 
listen to her Addresses, and give her the least Assistance, 
notwithstanding many of the Inhabitants are refreshed from 
the Sweetness of her wild Productions. The Culture of 
Indigo is brought to the same Perfection here, as in South 
Carolina, and is manufactured through all the Settlements 
from the Sea Coast, to the Extent of the interior Country."^ 
On the 19th of November, 1765, the Ebenezer congre- 
gation was called upon to mourn the loss of its venerable 
Spiritual Guide, the Reverend Mr. Bolzius, who had been 
at once teacher and magistrate, counsellor and friend during 
the tliirty years of povert}* and privation, labor and sorrow, 
hope and joy, passed in the wilds of Georgia. He was 

* History of the Province of Georgia, &c., pp. 21, 2'2. Wonnsloo, 18Jt9, 


interred, amid the lamentations of his people, in the ceme- 
tery near Jerusalem Church, and no stone marks his grave. 

After his demise the conduct of the Society devolved 
upon Messrs. Lembke and Rabenhorst. This involved not 
only the spiritual care of this people, but also the preser- 
vation and proper management of the mill-establishments 
and public property belonging to the Ebenezer Congrega- 
tion. " These two faithful men," writes the Reverend P. A. 
Strobel,* "labored harmoniously and successfully in the 
discharge of their heavy civil and religious obligations, and 
gave entire satisfaction to those with whose interests they 
were intrusted." During their administration the large 
brick house of worship, known as Jerusalem Church, was 
built at Ebenezer. The materials used in its construction 
were, for the most part, supplied by the Saltzburgers, while 
the funds necessary to defray the cost of erection were 
contributed by friends in Germany. 

Upon the death of Mr. Lembke, the Reverend Christopher 
F. Triebner "was sent over by the reverend fathers in Ger- 
many as an adjunct to Mr. Rabenhorst. Being a young 
man of talents, but of an impetuous and ambitious dispo- 
sition, he soon raised such a tumult in the quiet community 
that all the efforts of the famous Mr. Muhlenburg, who was 
ordered on a special mission to Ebenezer in 1774 to heal 
the disturbances which had arisen, scarce saved the con- 
gregation from disintegration. The schism was, however, 
finally cured, and peace was restored." For the better 
government of the Society, articles of discipline were pre- 
pared by Dr. Muhlenburg, which were formally subscribed 
by one hundred and twenty-four male members. This 
occurred at Jerusalem Church on the 16th of January, 1775, 

* The Saltzburgers and their Descendants, &c., p. 149. Baltimore, 1855. 


and affords substantial evidence of the strength of the 

The property belonging to the Church, according to an 
inventory made by Dr. Muhlenburg in 1775, consisted of 
the following : 

"1. In the hands of Pastor Rabenhorst a capital of £300. 
16s. 5d. 

2. In the hands of John Cas^oer Wertsch, for the store, £300. 

3. In the mill treasury, notes and money, £229. 16s. 2d. 

4. Pastor Triebner has some money in hands, (£400) the 

application of which has not been determined by our 
Reverend Fathers. 

5. Belonging to the Church is a Negro Boy at Mr. John 

rioerls', and a Negro Girl at Mr. David Steiner's. 

6. A town-lot and an out-lot, of which Mr. John Triebner 

has the grant in his hands. 

7. An inventory of personal goods in the mills belonging 

to the estate. 

8. And, finally, real estate, with the mills, 925 acres of land." 
Including certain legacies from private individuals, and 

donations from patrons of the Colony in Germany, which 
w^ere received within a short time, it is conjectured that this 
church property was then worth not much less than twenty 
thousand dollars. 

So long as the congregation at Ebenezer preserved its 
integrity, direct allegiance to the parent Church in Germany 
was acknowledged, its precepts, orders and deliverances 
were obeyed, its teachers welcomed and respected, and 
accounts of all receipts, disbursements, and important 
transactions regularly rendered. Its pastors continued to 
be charged with the administration of affairs, both spiritual 
and temporal, and were the duly constituted custodians 



of all clmrcli funds and property. Upon tlieir arrival in 
Georgia, these Saltzbiirgers, wearied with persecutions and 
stripped of the small possessions which were once theirs, 
were at first quite dependent npon public and private charity 
for bare subsistence. They were then unable, by voluntary 
contributions, to sustain their pastors and teachers, and 
build churches. Foreign aid arrived, however, from time 
to time, and this was suj)plemented in a small, yet generous 
way, by the labor of the parishioners and such sums and 
articles as could be spared from their slow accumulations. 
AVith a view to providing for the future, all means thus 
derived were carefully invested for the benefit of church 
and pastor. This system was maintained for more than fifty 
years, so that in the course of time not only were churches 
built, but reasonable provision was made for clergyman, 
teacher, and orphan, aside from the yearly voluntary contri- 
butions of the members of the Society. The education of 
youths was not neglected ; and DeBrahm assures us that 
in his day a library had been accumulated at Ebenezer in 
which "could be had Books wrote in the Caldaic, Hebrew, 
Arabec, Siriac, Coptic, Malabar, Greek, Latin, French, 
German, Dutch and Spanish, beside the English, viz : in 
thirteen Languages."" 

In the division of the Province of Georgia into eight 
Parishes, which occurred on the 15th of March, 1758, "the 
district of Abercorn and Goshen, and the district of Ebene- 
zer — extending from the northwest boundaries of the parish 
of Christ Church up the river Savannah as far as the Beaver 
Dam, and southwest as far as the mouth of Horse-Creek 
on the river Great Ogechee "—were declared a Parish under 


* History of the Province of Georgia, kc, p. 2i. Wormsloe, 1849, 


the name of " The Parish of St. Matthew.""^' The parish 
just below, on the line of the Savannah river, and embracing 
the town of Savannah, "was known as " Christ Church 

The Parish of St. Matthew, and the npper part of St. 
Philip lying above the Canonchee river, w^ere, by the Con- 
stitution of Georgia adopted at Savannah on the 5th of 
February, 1777, consolidated into a county called Effingham. f 

In the opinion of the Reverend Mr. Strobel, to whose 
valuable sketch of the Saltzburgers and their descendants 
we are indebted for much of the information contained in 
these pages, Ebenezer attained the height of its impoitance 
about 1774. The population of the town proper Avas not 
less than five hundred, embracing agriculturists, mechan- 
ics, and shop-keepers, who pursued their respective avo- 
cations with energy and thrift. Trade with Savannah and 
Charleston was carried on by means of sloops and schooners. 
In a contemporaneous picture, representing the general 
appearance of the town, may be seen two schooners riding 
at anchor near the Ebenezer landing.']: 

Although there arose a sharp division of sentiment when 
the question of direct opposition to the acts of Parliament 
was discussed at Ebenezer in 1771, and although quite a 
number of the inhabitants favored " passive obedience and 
non-resistance," the response of the majority was: "We 
have experienced the evils of tyranny in our own land; 

*Marbury and Crawford's Digest, pp. 150, 151. 

Under the Writs of Election issued by Sir James Wright in 1761, the following gentle- 
men were returned as members from St. Matthew's Parish : 
Abercorn aud Goshen— William Francis. 
Ebenezer— William Ewen, N. W. Jones, and James de Veaux.H 

TTMcCairs History of Georgia, vol i, p. 285. 

tWatkins' Digest, p. 8. 

tSee Strobel's Saltzburgers and their Descendants, p. 19i. Baltimore, 1855. 



for the sake of liberty we have left home, lands, houses, 
estates, and have taken refuge m the wilds of Georgia ; 
shall we now submit again to bondage? No, never." Among 
the delegates from the Parish of St. Matthew to the Pro- 
vincial Congress which assembled in Savannah on the 4tli 
of July, 1775, were the following Saltzburgers : John Stirk, 
John Adam Treutlen, Jacob Waldhauer, John Floerl, and 
Christopher Craemer. Despite the fact that as a community 
the Saltzburgers espoused the cause of the Kevolutionists, 
a considerable faction, headed by Mr. Triebner, maintained 
an open and a strenuous adherence to the Crown. Between 
these parties sprang up an angry controversy, replete with 
the bitterest feelings, and very prejudicial to the peace and 
prosperit}^ of the congregation. In the midst of the dis- 
cussion the Eeverend Mr. Rabenhorst, who exerted his 
utmost influence to curb the dominant passions and incul- 
cate mutual forbearance, crowned his long and useful life 
with a saintly death. 

Three days after the capture of Savannah by Colonel 
Campbell, a strong force was advanced, under the command 
of Lieut. Col. Maitland, to Cherokee Hill. The following 
day [January 2, 1779,1 Ebenezer was occupied by the 
British troops. Upon their arrival they threw up a redoubt 
within a few hundred yards of Jerusalem Church and fortified 
the position.:]: The remains of this work are said to be still 
visible. The moment he learned that Savannah had fallen 
before Colonel Campbell's column, Mr. Triebner hastened 
to that place, proclaimed his lo^^alty, and took the oath 
of allegiance. The intimation is that he counselled the 
immediate occrupation of Ebenezer, and in person accom- 

t In 1776, Ebenezer had been partially fortified by the Revolutionists.* 
* See letter of Sir James Wright to Lord George Germain unde^ date March 20, 1776. 
Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. in, p. 239, Savannah, 1873. 


panied tlie detacliment which compassed the capture of his 
own town and people. He was a violent, uncompromising 
man,— -at all times intent upon the success of his peculiar 
views and wishes. Influenced bv his advice and example, 
not a few of the Saltzburgers subscribed oaths of allegiance 
to the British Crown, and received certificates guaranteeing 
Royal protection to person and property. Prominent among 
those who maintained their adherence to the Rebel cause 
were Governor John Adam Trentlen, William Holsendorf, 
Colonel John Stirk, Secretary Samuel Stirk, John Schnider, 
Rudolph Strohaker, Jonathan Schnider, J. Gotlieb Schnider, 
Jonathan Rahn, Ernest Zittrauer, and Joshua and Jacob 

" The citizens at Ebenezer and the surrounding country," 
says Mr. Strobel, "were made to feel ver}^ severely the 
effects of the war. The property of those who did not take 
the oath of allegiance was confiscated, and they were con- 
stantly exposed to every species of insult and wrong from 
a hired and profligate soldiery. Besides this, some of the 
Saltzburgers who espoused the cause of the Crown became 
very inveterate in their hostility to the Whigs in the set- 
tlement, and pillaged and then burnt their dwellings. The 
residence on the farm of the pious Rabenhorst was among 
the first given to the flames. Among those who distin- 
guished themselves for their cruelty was one Eicliel, — who 
has been properly termed an 'inhuman miscreant,' — whose 
residence was at Goshen, and Martin Dasher, who kept a 
public house five miles below Ebenezer. These men placed 
themselves at the head of marauding parties, composed of 
British and Tories, and laid waste every plantation or farm 
whose occupant was even suspected of favoring the Republi- 
can cause. In these predatory excursions the most revolting 


cruelty and unbridled licentiousness were indulged, and the 
whole country was overrun and devastated. ^^ ^ ^ 
The Salzburgers, nevertheless, were to experience great 
annoyances from other sources. ^ vt -h- j^ i[j^q 

of British posts had been established all along the western 
bank of the Savannah river to check the demonstrations of 
the Eebel forces in Carolina. Under these circumstances, 
Ebenezer, from its somewhat central position, became a kind 
of thoroughfare for the British troops in passing through 
the country from Augusta to Savannah. To the inhabitants 
of Ebenezer, particularly, this was a source of perpetual 
annoyance. British troops were constant^ quartered among 
them, and to avoid the rudeness of the soldiers and the 
heavy tax upon their resources, many of the best citizens 
were forced to abandon their homes and settle in the 
country, thus leaving their houses to the mercy of their cruel 

"Besides all this, they were forced to witness almost daily 
acts of cruelty practised by the British and Tories toward 
those Americans who happened to fall into their hands as 
prisoners of war ; for it will be remembered that Ebenezer, 
while in the hands of the British, was the point to which 
all prisoners taken in the surrounding country were brought 
and from thence sent to Savannah. It was from this post 
that the prisoners Avere carried who were rescued by 
Sergeant Jasper and his comrade, Newton, at the Jasper 
Spring, a few miles above Savannah. 

" There w^as one act performed by the British commander 
which was peculiarly trying and revolting to the Salzburgers. 
Their fine brick church was converted into a hospital for 
the accommodation of the sick and wounded, and subse- 
quently it was desecrated by being used as a stable for their 


6Ll), AND NEW EBENEZEfi. 39 

liorses. To this latter use it was devoted until the close of 
the war and the removal of the British troops from Georgia. 
To show their contempt for the church and their disregard 
for the religious sentiments of the people, the church records 
were nearly all destroyed, and the soldiers would discharge 
their guns at different objects on the church ; and even to 
this day the metal " S^oan " (Luther's coat of arms) which 
surmounts the spire on the steeple, bears the mark of a 
musket ball which was fired through it by a reckless soldier. 
Often, too, cannon were discharged at the houses ; and there 
is a log- house now standing not far from Ebenezer, which 
w^as perforated by several cannon shot. '''' ^^ -" The 
Salzburgers endured all these hardships and indignities with 
becoming fortitude ; and though a few were overcome by 
these severe measures, yet the great mass of them remained 
firm in their attachment to the principles of liberty.""^^" 

It is suggested that the establishment of tippling houses 
in Ebenezer, during its occupancy by the British, and con- 
stant intercourse with a licentious soldiery, corrupted the 
lives of not a few of the once sober and orderly Germans. 
That the protracted presence of the enemy, the confiscation 
of estates, the interruption of regular pursuits, the expul- 
sion of such as clave to the Confederate cause, and the 
general demoralization cosnequent u]3on a state of war, 
tended to the manifest injury and depopulation of the town, 
cannot, for a moment, be questioned. Indications of decay 
and ruin were patent in Ebenezer before the cessation of 
hostilities. From the time of its occupation by Maitland, 
shortly after the capture of Savannah by Colonel Campbell 
in December, 1778,^with the exception of the limited 
period when its garrison was called in to assist in the 

^Strobel's Saltzburgers and their Descendants, pp. 203, 207. Baltimore, 1855. 


defense of Savannah against the operations of the allied 
armj under the command of Count DeEstaing and General 
Lincoln in the fall of 1779, — Ebenezer continued in the 
possession of the British until a short time prior to the 
evacuation of Savannah in July, 1783. In his advance 
toward Savannah, General Anthony Wayne established his 
head quarters at this town. The Tory pastor, Triebner, 
who, during the struggle had sided with the Royalists and 
remained unmoved amid the sufferings and oppressions of 
his people, betook himself to flight so soon as the English 
forces were withdrawn, and found a refuge in England, 
where he ended his days in seclusion. 

Upon the evacuation of Savannah, many of the Saltz- 
burgers returned to Ebenezer. Its aspect was sadly 
changed. Not a few of the abandoned dwellings had been 
burned. Others had fallen into decay. Smiling gardens 
had been trampled into desert places, and the impress of 
stagnation, neglect, and desolation was upon everything. 
Jerusalem Church was a mass of filth, and very dilapidated. 
Notwithstanding this sad condition of affairs, much energy 
was displayed in the purification and renovation of this 
temple of worship, and in the rehabilitation of the town. 

The arrival of the Reverend John Ernest Bergman, — a 
clergyman of decided talents and of considerable literary 
attainments, — and the revival of the parochial school greatly 
encouraged the depressed inhabitants and promoted the 
general improvement of the place. The population began 
to increase. It assumed an apparently permanent character? 
and countenanced the hope that the ante-bellum quiet, good 
order, thrift, and prosperity would be regained. This ex- 
pectation, however, was not fully realized. The former 
trade never revived. The mills were never again put in 


motion. Silk-culture was renewed only to a limited degree. 
Having for twenty-five years more remained about station- 
ary, New Ebenezer commenced visibly to decline ; and, when 
scarcely more than a century old, took its place, in silence 
and nothingness, among the dead towns of Georgia."^ 

The act of February 26th, 1784,t provided for the erec- 
tion of the " Court House and Gaol " and for holding public 
elections in Effingham County at Tuckasee-King, near the 
present line of Scriven County. The situation proving in- 
convenient, three years afterwards the county-seat was re- 
moved to Elberton, near Indian Bluff, on the north side of 
the Great Ogeechee river. 

On the 18th of February, 1796, the Legislature of Geor- 
giaj appointed Jeremiah Cuyler, John G. Neidlinger, Jona- 
than Rawhn, Elias Hodges, and John Martin Dasher "com- 
missioners for the town and common of Ebenezer," with in- 
structions to have the town " surveyed and laid out as nearly 
as possible in conformity to the original plan thereof, to 
sell all vacant lots, and such as had become vested in the 
State, [reserving such only as were necessary for public 
uses,] and appropriate the proceeds to the erection of a 
County Court House and Jail." Any over-plus was to be 
applied to building a public Academy. For three years only 
did Ebenezer remain the County Town of Effingham County. 
In 1799, its public buildings were sold, and the village of 
Springfield was designated by the Legislature as " the per- 
manent seat for the public buildings of the County of Effing- 

* Ebenezer is not mentioned among the principal towns of Georgia enumerated by 
George Sibbald in 1801. , 

See "Notes and Observations on the Pine Lauds of Georgia," &c., pp.58 to 6G, Augusta, 

t Watkins' Digest, p. 298. 

JMarbury and Crawford's Digest, pp. 154, 155. 


ham."" Dayid Hall, Joshua Loper, Samuel Kyals, Godhelf 
Smith, and Drurias Garrison were appointed commissioners 
to carry this change into effect. 

In 1808 the Ebenezer Congregation received legislative 
permission to sell the glebe lands which it owned. By de- 
grees all the real estate held by the society was disposed of. 
The proceeds arising from these sales were invested in lands, 
mortgages, and securities ; — the interest accruing being ap- 
plied to the payment of the pastor's salary and the current 
expenses of the church. t 

Until about the year 1803 all the religious services 
observed by the Saltzburgers were conducted in the German 
language ; and, in the church at Ebenezer, for a long time 
subsequent to that date, the religious exercises continued 
in that tongue. Methodist and Baptist Churches springing 
up in the neighborhood drew away many of the younger 
members of the congregation. The introduction of the 
English language into all the Saltzburger Churches was 
effected in 1824 through the instrumentality of the Eeverend 
Christopher F. Bergman. 

Year by year Ebenezer became more sparsely populated. 
Many of its citizens removed into the interior and upper 
parts of the county. Quite a number formed settlements 
in Scriven County, while others went to Savannah, and to 
Lowndes, Liberty, and Thomas counties. Others still, — 
more enterprizing than their fellows, — sought new homes in 
South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. 

We close this sketch with a picture of Ebenezer painted 
by one of the late Pastorst of Jerusalem Church, — a gen- 

*Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 158. 

tSee Strobel's Saltzburgers and their Descendants, p. 234, Baltimore, 1855. 

JRev'dP. A. Strobel. 


tleman of cultivation and of piety, who saw the last waves 
of oblivion as they closed over the town and obliterated 
its decayed traces from the grass covered bluff of the 

" To one visiting the ancient town of Ebenezer, in the 
present day [1855] the prospect which presents itself is 
anything but attractive ; and the stranger who is unacquaint- 
ed with its history would perhaps discover very little to 
excite his curiosity or awaken his sympathies. The town 
has gone almost entirely to ruins. Only two residences are 
now remaining, and one of these is untenanted. The old 
church, however, stands in bold relief upon an open lawn, 
and by its somewhat antique appearance seems silently, yet 
forcibly, to call up the reminiscences of former years. Not 
far distant from the church is the cemetery, in which are 
sleeping the remains of the venerable men who founded 
the colony and the church, and many of their descendants 
who, one by one, have gone down to the grave to mingle 
their ashes with those of their illustrious ancestors. 

"Except upon the Sabbath, when the descendants of the 
Saltzburgers go up to their temple to worship the God of 
their fathers, the stillness which reigns around Ebenezer 
is seldom broken, save by the warbling of birds, the occa- 
sional transit of a steamer, or the murmurs of the Savannah 
as it flows on to lose itself in the ocean. The sighing winds 
chant melancholy dirges as they sweep through the lofty 
pines and cedars which cast their sombre shades over this 
'deserted village.' Desolation seems to have spread over 
this once-favored spot its withering wing, and here, where 
generation after generation grew up and flourished, where 
the persecuted and exiled Saltzburgers reared their offspring 
in the hope that they would leave a numerous progeny of 


pious, useful, and prosperous citizens, and where everything 
seemed to betoken the establishment of a thrifty and per- 
manent colony, scarcely anything is to be seen, except the 
sad evidences of decay and death," 



"As the Mind of Man cannot form a more exalted 
Pleasure than what arises from the Reflexion of having 
relieved the Distressed; let the Man of Benevolence, 
whose Substance enables him to contribute towards this 
Undertaking, give a Loose for a little to his Imagination, 
pass over a few Years of his Life, and think himself in 
a Visit to Georgia. Let him see those, who are now a 
Prey to all the Calamities • of Want, who are starving 
with Hunger, and seeing their Wives and Children in the 
same Distress ; expecting likewise every Moment to be 
thrown into a Dungeon, with the cutting Anguish that 
they leave their Families expos'd to the utmost Necessity 
and Despair : Let him, I say, see these living under 
a sober and orderly Government, settled in Towns, which 
are rising at Distances along navigable Rivers : Flocks 
and Herds in the neighbouring Pastures, and adjoining 
to them Plantations of regular Rows of Mulberry-Trees, 
entwin'd with Vines, the Branches of which are loaded 
with Grapes ; let him see Orchards of Oranges, Pome- 
granates, and Olives; in other Places extended Fields of 
Corn, or Flax and Hemp. In short, the whole Face of 
the Country chang'd by Agriculture, and Plenty in every 
Part of it. Let him see' the People all in Employment 
of various Kinds, Women and Children feeding and nurs- 


ing the Silkworms, winding off the Silk, or gathering the 
OUves ; the Men ploughing and planting their Lands, 
tending their Cattle, or felling the Forest, which they 
burn for Potashes, or square for the Builder; let him 
see these in Content and Affluence, and Masters of little 
Possessions which they can leave to their Children ; and 
then let him think if they are not happier than those 
supported by Charity in Idleness. Let him reflect that 
the Produce of their Labour will be so much new 
Wealth for his Country, and then let him ask himself, 
Whether he would exchange the Satisfaction of having 
contributed to this, for all the trifling Pleasures the 
Money, which he has given, would have purchas'd. 

"Of all publick-spirited Actions, perhaps none can 
claim a Preference to the Settling of Colonies, as none 
are in the End more useful. ^^ ^ ^ Whoever then is a 
Lover of Liberty will be pleas'd with an Attempt to re- 
cover his fellow Subjects from a State of Misery and 
Oppression, and fix them in Happiness and Preedom. 

" Whoever is a Lover of his Country will approve of a 
Method for the Employment of her Poor, and the In- 
crease of her People and her Trade. Whoever is a 
Lover of Mankind will join his wishes to the Success 
of a Design so plainly calculated for then- Good : Un- 
dertaken, and conducted with so much Disinterestedness." 

By such suggestions did Benjamin Martyn^ seek to 
enlist the public sympathy in behalf of the then projected 
but not estabhshed Colony of Georgia. ^ 

Mr. Oglethorpe, in a contemporaneous pubHcation,t had 

* Reasons for Establisliing the Colony of Georgia witii regard to the Trade of Great 
Britain, &c., pp. 38-41. London, 1733. 

t A New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia, &c 
London, 1733. 


assigned, among the weightiest reasons for founding the 
Colony, the ample opportunity which would be afforded 
in Georgia for persons reduced to poverty at home and con- 
stituting a positive charge upon the Nation, to be made 
happy and prosperous abroad and profitable to England. 
The conversion of the Indians, the confirmation of the de- 
velopment and security of Carolina, and a lucrative trade 
in silk, rice, cotton, wine, indigo, grain, and lumber, were 
enumerated as additional inducements to the enterprize. 

On the 9th of June, 1732, his Majesty, George the 
Second, by Charter, granted to the Trustees for estab- 
lishing the Colony of Georgia in America and their succes- 
sors, all the Lands and Territories from the most northern 
stream of the Savannah river along the sea-coast to the 
southward unto the most southern stream of the Alatamaha 
river, and westward from the heads of the said rivers re- 
spectively in direct lines to the south seas. Not only the 
lands lying within these boundaries, but also all islands 
within twenty leagues of the coast were, by this Royal 
feoffment, conveyed "for the better support of the Colony.""^' 

During the first year of the foundation of the Colony, Mr. 
Oglethorpe's attention was directed to providing for the 
emigrants suitable homes at Savannah, Joseph's Town, 
Abercorn, and Old Ebenezer, to concluding necessary trea- 
ties of cession and amity with the Natives, and the erection 
of a fort on the Great Ogeechee river to command the main 
passes by which the Indians had invaded Carolina during 
the late wars, and afford the settlers some security against 
anticipated incursions from the Spaniards. This fortified 
post, — as a compliment to his honored patron John, Duke of 

* See Copy of Chai'ter, McCall's History of Greorgia, Vol. i, p. 329 et seq : Savannah, 1811. 

Reasons for establishing the Colony of G-eorgia, &c., p. 29. London, 1733. 

A State of the Province of Georgia attested upon oath, &c., p. 1. London, 1742. 


Argyle, — was called Fort Argyle, and was garrisoned by 
Captain McPherson and his detachment of Rangers. At 
this time no English plantations had been established south 
of the Great Ogeechee river. Having confirmed the Colon- 
ists in their occupation of the right bank of the Savannah, 
and engaged the friendship of the venerable Indian Chief, 
Tomo-chi-chi, and the neighboring Lower Creeks and 
Uchees, in January, 1734, Mr. Oglethorpe set out to explore 
the coast, and determine upon such settlement as appeared 
most advantageous for the protection of the southern con- 
fines of the Colony. During a heavy rain on the 26th of that 
month, he and his party landed " on the first Albany bluff 
of St. Simon's island" and "lay all night under the shelter 
of a large live-oak- tree and kept themselves dry." This re- 
connoissance, which was continued as far as the sea-point of 
St. Simon's island, and Jekyll island, convinced Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe it was expedient and necessary for the proper defence 
of the Colony that a military station and settlement should 
be formed, at the earliest practicable moment, near the 
mouth of the Alatamaha river ; and that, as an outpost, a 
strong fort should be built on St. Simon's island. 

This plan was in part compassed in January, 1735, when 
one hundred and thirty Highlanders, and fifty women and 
children, who had been enrolled for emigration at Inverness 
and its vicinity, arrived at Savannah, and, a few days after- 
wards, were conveyed in periaguas to the southward. As- 
cending the Alatamaha river to a point about sixteen miles 
above St. Simon's island, they there landed and entered upon 
a permanent settlement, which they called New Inverness. 
Here they erected a fort, — mounting four pieces of cannon, — 
built a guard-house, a store, and a chapel, and constructed 
huts for temporary accommodation preparatory to putting 

PREDERldi. 49 

up more substantial structures. These Scots were a brave, 
hardy people, — ^just the men to occupy this advanced posi- 
tion. In their plaids, and with their broad-swords, targets, 
and firearms, Oglethorpe says they presented " a most 
manly appearance." 

Upon their arrival in Savannah some of the Carolinians 
endeavored to dissuade them from going to the southward 
by telling them that the Spaniards, from the houses in their 
fort, would shoot them upon the spot selected by the Trus- 
tees for their future home. Nothing daunted, these doughty 
countrymen of Bruce and Wallace responded'"" "we will 
beat them out of their fort and shall have houses ready 
built to live in." This valiant spirit found subsequent ex- 
pression in the effective military service rendered by these 
Highlanders during the wars between the Colonists and the 
Spaniards, and by their decendants in the primal struggle 
for independance. To John Moore Mcintosh, Captain 
Hugh MacKay, Ensign Charles MacKay, Colonel John Mc- 
intosh, General Lachlan Mcintosh, and their gallant follow- 
ers, Georgia, both as a Colony and a State, owes a special 
debt of gratitude. 

On the 5th of February, 1735, t two hundred and two 
persons, upon the Trust's account, conveyed in the Symond 
and the London Merchant, and conducted by Oglethorpe in 
person, arrived at the mouth of the Savannah river. It was 
his intention to locate all these emigrants at St. Simon's 
island, but, in compliance with their earnest entreaty, such 
of them as were German Lutherans were permitted to join 

* See Letter of Gen'l Ogletliorpe to the Trustees under date February 27th, 1735-6. Col- 
lections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. iii, p. 15. Savannah, 1873. 

t A Voyage to Georgia, begun in the year 1735 by Francis Moore, p. 17. London 1744. 

Compare Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. ii, p. 330. London, 

An Account Showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia, &c., p. 20. London, 1741, 


their friends at Ebenezer. Upon leaving London it was con- 
templated that the Symond and the London Merchant should 
sail directly for Jekyll sound, and land their passengers at 
the point where it was proposed that the new town should 
be located. The timidity of the captains, however, who, in 
the absence of experienced pilots, feared the dangers of an 
unknown entrance, caused this deviation in the voyage. 

Having engaged the services of fifty Rangers and one 
hundred workmen, and having dispatched Captain McPher- 
son with a part of his command to march by land to the 
suppport of the Highlanders on the Alatamaha, Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe who, since his arrival, had been busily occupied in 
arranging matters at Savannah and Old Ebenezer, returned 
to the ships which were still lying in Tybee roads. Finding 
their captains unwilling to risk their ships without having 
previously acquired a knowledge of the entrance into Jekyll 
sound, he bought the cargo of the sloop Midnight, which had 
just arrived, on condition that it should be at once delivered 
at Fredrica, and with the understanding that captains Cor- 
nish and Thomas should go on board of her, acquaint them- 
selves with the coast and entrance, and then return and 
conduct their vessels to Frederica. During their absence 
these ships, — the Symond and the London Merchant, — their 
cargoes still on board, — were to remain at anchor at Tybee 
roads in charge of Francis Moore, who was appointed keeper 
of the stores. Mr. Horton and Mr. Tanner, with thirty 
single men of the Colony, and cannon, arms, ammunition 
and entrenching tools, were ordered to proceed to the south- 
ward with the sloop Midnight. The workmen who had been 
engaged at Savannah, and Tomo-chi-chi's Indians were di- 
rected to rendezvous at convenient points whence they 
might be transported as occasion required. The sloop sailed 


for St. Simon's island on the morning of the 16th, and at 
evening of the same day Mr. Oglethorpe set out in the scout 
boat to meet the sloop at Jekyll sound. Captain Hermsdorf, 
two of the Colony, and some Indians went with him, and 
Captain Dunbar accompanied him with his boat. They 
passed through the inland channels lying between the outer 
islands and the main. "Mr. Oglethorpe being in haste," 
says one of the party, "the Men rowed Night and Day, 
and had no other Rest than what they got when a Snatch 
of Wind favoured us. They were all very willing, though 
we met with very boisterous Weather. ^ '^' ^^' The 
Men vied with each other who should be forwardest to 
please Mr. Oglethorpe. Indeed he lightened their Fatigue 
by giving them Refreshments, which he rather spared from 
himself than let them want. The Indians seeing the Men 
hard laboured, desired to take the Oars, and rowed as well 
as any I ever saw, only differing from the others by taking 
a short and long Stroke alternately, which they called the 
Yamasee Stroke." On the morning of the 18th they reached 
St. Simon's island and found that the sloop had come in 
ahead of, and was waiting for them. Mr. Oglethorpe at 
once set all hands to work. The tall grass growing upon 
the bluff at Frederica was burnt off, a booth was marked 
out "to hold the stores, — digging the ground three Foot 
deep, and throwing up the Earth on each Side by way of 
Bank, — and a roof raised upon Crutches with Ridge-pole 
and Rafters, nailing small Poles across, and thatching the 
whole with Palmetto-leaves. Mr. Oglethorpe afterw^ards 
laid out several Booths without digging under Ground, 
which were also covered with Palmetto Leaves, to lodge 
the Families of the Colony in when they should come up ; 
each of these Booths was between thirty and forty Foot 



long, and upwards of twenty Foot wide. ^ * We all 
made merry that Evening, having a plentiful Meal of Game 
brought in by the Indians. 

" On the 19th, in the Morning, Mr. Oglethorpe began to 
mark out a Fort with four Bastions, and taught the Men 
how to dig the Ditch, and raise and turf the Eampart. This 
Day and the following Day were spent in finishing the 
Houses, and tracing out the Fort."''^ 

Such was the simple beginning of Frederica.f Near the - 
town Mr. Oglethorpe fixed the only home he ever owned in 
the Province. In its defence were enlisted his best energies, 
military skill, and valor. Brave are the memories of St. 
Simon's island. None prouder belong to the colonial history 
of Georgia. 

Three days afterwards arrived from Savannah a periagua 
with workmen, provisions, and cannon, for the new settle- 
ment. Captains Cornish and Thomas returned from the 
southward to Tybee roads on the 26th and, although assured 
of the fact that there was ample water for the conveyance 
of their vessels to Frederica, still refused to conduct the 
Symond and the London Merchant to the southward. Mr. 
Oglethorpe was consequently compelled to consent that theii- 
cargoes should be unloaded into the " Feter and James,'' 
which could not carry above one hundred tons, and the rest 
transferred in sloops to Savannah for safe storage until such 
time as opportunity offered for conveying it to its destination. 
He was also put to the great inconvenience of collecting peri- 
aguasj sufiicient for the transportation of the Colonists. 

* Moore's Voyage to Georgia, &c., p. 44. London, 1744. 
t Named by Oglethorpe after Frederick, Prince of Wales. 

t These are "long flat-bottomed boats carrying from 20 to 35 Tons. They have a kind 
of a Forecastle and a Cabbin ; but the rest open, and no Deck. They have two Masts, 
which they can strike, and Sails like Schooners. They row generally with two Oars only." 


Much incensed at the conduct of the Captains of the 
transports, and inconvenienced by the demurrage conse- 
quent upon their timidity, he was also indignant at 
the delay thus caused in the consummation of his plans, 
annoyed at the additional charges for transfer of passengers 
and cargo, and solicitous for the health of the colonists 
who would be exposed in open boats, at an inclement season, 
during the passage from Tybee roads to Jekyll sound. 

It was not until the 2nd of March that the fleet of peria- 
guas and boats, with the families of the Colonists on board, 
set out from the mouth of the Savannah river. Spare oars 
had been rigged for each boat. With their assistance, — the 
men of the Colony rowing with a will, — the voyage to Fred- 
erica was accomplished in five days. Mr. Oglethorpe accom- 
panied them in his scout-boat, keeping the fleet together, 
and taking the hindermost craft in tow. As an incentive to 
unity of movement, he placed all the strong beer on board 
one boat. The rest labored diligently to keep up ; for, if 
they were not all at the place of rendezvous each night, the 
tardy crew lost their ration. Frederica was reached on the 
8th, and there was general joy among the colonists. 

So diligently did they labor in building their town and its 
fortifications, that by the 23rd of March a battery of cannon, 
commanding the river, had been mounted, and the fort was 
almost finished. Its ditches had been dug, although not to 
the required depth or width, and a rampart raised and cov- 
ered with sod. A store-house, having a front of sixty feet, 
and intended to be three stories in height, was completed as 
to its cellar and first story. The necessary streets were all 
laid out. " The Main Street that went from the Front into 
the Country was 25 yards wide. Each Free-holder had 60 
Foot in Front by 90 Foot in Depth, upon the high Street, 


for their House and Garden ; but those which fronted the 
Eiver had but 30 Foot in Front, by 60 Foot in Depth. 
Each Family had a Bower of Palmetto Leaves, finished 
upon the back Street in their own Lands : The Side towards 
the front Street was set out for their Houses : These Pal- 
metto Bowers were very convenient Shelters, being tight in 
the hardest Eains ; they were about 20 Foot long, and 14 
Foot wide, and, in regular Rows, looked very pretty, the 
Palmetto Leaves lying smooth and handsome, and of a good 
Colour. The whole appeared something like a Camp ; for 
the Bowers looked liked Tents, only being larger and cover- 
ed with Palmetto Leaves instead of Canvas. There were 3 
large Tents, two belonging to Mr. Ogletliorpe, and one to Mr. 
Horton, pitched upon the Parade near the River." 

Such is the description of the town in its infancy as fur- 
nished by Mr. Moore, whose " Voyage to Georgia " is one 
of the most interesting and valuable tracts we have descrip- 
tive of the colonization. 

That there might be no confusion in their constructive 
labors, Mr. Oglethorpe divided the Colonists into working 
parties. To some was assigned the duty of cutting forks, 
poles, and laths for building the bowers. Others set them 
up. Others still gathered palmetto leaves, while a fourth 
gang, — under the superintendence of a Jew workman, bred 
in Brazil and skilled in the matter, — thatched the roofs 
"nimbly and in a neat manner." 

Men accustomed to the agriculture of the region, in- 
structed the Colonists in hoeing and planting. Potatoes, 
Indian corn, flax, hempseed, barley, turnips, lucern-grass, 
pumpkins, and water-melons were planted. The labor was 
common and enured to the benefit of the entire community. 
As it was rather too late in the season to prepare the ground 


fully and get in such a crop as would promise a yield suffi- 
cient to subsist the settlement for the coming year, many 
of the men were put upon pay and set to work upon the 
fortifications and the public buildings. 

Mr. Hugh MacKay, about this time, arrived in Frederica 
and reported, that with the assistance of Messrs. Augustine 
and Tblme, and the guides furnished by Tomo-chi-chi, he had 
surveyed and located a road, practicable for horses, between 
Savannah and Darien. This information was very gratifying 
to the Colonists on St. Simons, assuring them, as it did, that 
their situation was not so isolated as they at first supposed. 

Frederica was located in the midst of an Indian field^' con- 
taining between thirty and forty acres of cleared land. The 
grass in this field yielded an excellent turf which was freely 
•used in sodding the parapet of the fort. The bluff upon 
which it stood rose about ten feet above high-water mark, 
was dry and sandy, and exhibited a level expanse of about a 
mile into the interior of the island. The position of the 
fort was such that it fully commanded the reaches in the 
river both above and below. With their situation the Colo- 
nists were delighted. The harbor was land-locked,t having 

*The Aborigines cleared considerable spaces on the Sea Islands along tlie Greorgia Coast, 
planting them with maize, pumpkins, gonrds, beans, melons, &c. These indications of 
early agriculture were not infrequent in various portions of the State. The richest 
localities were selected by the Aborigines for cultivation : their principal towns and 
maize-fields being generally found in rich valleys where a generous soil yielded, with 
least labor, the most remunerative harvest. The trees were killed by girdling them by 
means of stone axes. They then decayed and fell piecemeal. So old were these Indian 
fields that in them no traces appeared of the roots and stumps even of the most durable 
trees. The occupancy of these islands by the Red race was general and of long duration. 
Prominent bluffs are to this day marked by their refuse heaps, composed chiefly of the 
shells of oysters, conchs, and clams, and the bones of the animals, reptiles, birds, and 
fishes upon which they subsisted, intermingled with sherds of pottery, and broken 
articles, and relics of various sorts. Many localities are hoary with ancient shell-mounds, 
while sepulchral tumuli of earth are not infrequent. Besides the primitive population 
permanently domiciled on these islands, at certain seasons of the year, large numbers of 
Indians from the main here congregated and spent much time in hunting and fishing. 

t An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, pp. 
40 and 41. London, 1741. 


a depth of twenty-two feet of water at the bar, and capable 
of affording safe anchorage to a large number of ships of 
considerable burden. Surrounded by beautiful forests of 
live-oak, water oaks, laurel, bay, cedar, sweet-gum, sassafras, 
and pines, festooned with luxuriant vines, [among which 
those bearing the Fox-grape and the Muscadine were pecu- 
liarly pleasing to the Colonists,] and abounding in deer, 
rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, wild-turkeys, turtle-doves, red- 
birds, mocking birds, and rice birds,^ with wide extended 
marshes frequented by wild geese, ducks, herons, curlews, 
cranes, plovers, and marsh-hens, — the adjacent waters teem- 
ing with fishes, crabs, shrimps, and oysters, and the island 
fanned by South-East breezes prevailing with the regularity 
of the trade winds — ^the strangers were charmed with their 
new home. Within their fort were enclosed and preserved 
several of those grand old live-oaks which for centuries had 
crowned the bluff, and whose shade was refreshing beyond 
any shelter the hand of man could devise. The town 
sprang into being as a military post. It was ordered and 
grew day by day under the immediate supervision of Ogle- 
thorpe. The soil of the island was fertile, and its health 
unquestioned. Lieutenant George Dunbar, on the 20th of 
January, 1739, made oath before Francis Moore, Recorder 
of the Town of Frederica, that since his arrival with the 
first detachment of Colonel Oglethorpe's regiment the pre- 
ceding June, all the carpenters and many of the soldiers had 
been continuously occupied in building clap-board huts, 
carrying lumber and bricks, unloading vessels, [often work- 
ing up to their necks in water,] in clearing the parade, burn- 
ing wood and rubbish, making lime, and in other out-door 
exercises, — the hours of labor being from daylight until 

* Buffalo and quail were found on the Main. 


eleven or twelve M. and from two or three o'clock in the 
afternoon until dark. Despite these exposures, continues 
the Affiant, "All the time the men kept so healthy that often 
no man in the camp ailed in the least, and none died except 
one man who came sick on board and never worked at all ; 
nor did I hear that any of the men ever made the heat a 
pretence for not working."* 

Beyond question Frederica was the healthiest of all the 
early settlements in Georgia, and St. Simon's island has 
always enjoyed an enviable reputation for salubrity. Until 
marred by the desolations of the late war, this island was a 
favorite summer resort, and the homes of the planters were 
the abodes of beauty, comfort, and refinement. A mean 
temperature of about fifty degrees in winter, and not above 
eighty-two degrees in summer, gardens adorned with choice 
flowers, and orchards enriched with plums, peaches, necta- 
rines, figs, melons, pomegranates, dates, oranges and limes, — 
forests rendered majestic by the live-oak, the pine, and the 
magnolia grandiflora, and redolent with the perfumes of the 
bay, the cedar and the myrtle, — the air fresh and buoyant 
with the South-East breezes, and vocal with the notes of 
song-birds, — the adjacent sea, sound, and inlets, replete with 
-fishes, — the shell roads and broad beach affording every 
facility for driving and riding, — the woods and fields abound- 
ing with game in their season, and the culture and generous 
hospitality of the inhabitants, impressed all visitors with 
the delights of this favored spot. Sir Charles Lyell, among 
others, alludes with marked satisfaction to the pleasures he 
there experienced. 

* State of the Province of Georgia attested upon Oath, &c., p. 25. London, 1742. 

Compare Affidavits of Lieut. Raymond Demare, Hugh MacKay, and John Cuthbert, to 
same effect. 

An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, pp. 61, 
63, 64. London, 1741. 


Among the reptiles which not only attracted the notice of, 
but, to a considerable degree, upon first acquaintance, dis- • 
quieted the early Colonists, the alligators were the most 
noted. Listen to this description furnished by an eye- _ 
witness- in 1736 : "They are terrible to look at, stretching f ' 
open an horrible large Mouth, big enough to swallow a Man, 
with Rows of dreadful large sharp Teeth, and Feet like Drag- A i 
gons, armed with great Claws, and a long Tail which they 
throw about with great Strength, and which seems their best 
Weapon, for their Claws are feebly set on, and the Stiffness 
of their Necks hinders them from turning nimbly to bite." In 
order that the public mind might be disabused of the terror 
which pervaded it with respect to these reptiles, Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe, having wounded and caught one, had it brought 
to Savannah and made the boys bait it with sticks and 
finally pelt and beat it to death. 

The rattle snakes, too, were objects of special dread. 

Leaving his people busily occupied with the labors as- 
signed to them at Frederica, Mr, Oglethorpe set out on the 
18th of Marclit for the frontiers, "to see where his Majesty's 
Dominions and the Spaniards joyn.":|: He was accompanied 
by " Toma-Chi-Chi, Mico, and a Body of Indians, who, tho' 
but few, being not forty, were all chosen Warriors and good 
Hunters." They were conveyed in two Scout Boats, and 
the next day were joined by the periagua, commanded by 
Captain Hugh MacKay, with thirty Highlanders, ten men of 
the Independent Company, and entrenching tools and provi- 
sions on board. Upon the north-western point of Cumber- 

* Francis Moore, Voyage to Georgia, &c., p. 57. London, 1744. 

t Moore says April. See A Voyage to Georgia, p. 63. London, 1744. 

t Oglethorpe's letter to the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. 

Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iir, p. 28. Savannah, 1873. 


land island* washed by the bay on the one side, and on the 
other by the channel running to the southward, Oglethorpe 
marked out a fort, called it St. Andrews, and left Captain 
MacKay with his command to build it, and some Indians to 
hunt and shoot for them while thus employed. 

Proceeding on his voyage, Mr. Oglethorpe named the next 
large Island to the South, Amelia, t — " it being a beautiful 
Island, and the Sea-shore cover' d with Myrtle, Peach-Trees, 
Orange-Trees, and Vines in the wild Woods." Tomo-chi-chi 
conducted him to the mouth of the St. Johns, pointed 
out the advanced post occupied by the Spanish Guard, and 
indicated the dividing line. It was with difficulty that the 
old chief and his followers could be restrained from making 
a night attack upon the Spaniards, upon whom they thirsted 
to take revenge for the killing of some Indians during the 
Mico's absence in England. Stopping at fort St. Andrews 
on his way back, Oglethorpe was surprised to find the work 
in such a state of " forwardness, — the Ditch being dug, and 
the Parapet raised with Wood and Earth on the Land-side, 
and the small Wood clear'd fifty yards round the Fort." 
This seemed the more extraordinary, adds Francis Moore, 
because Mr. MacKay had no engineer, or any assistance 
other than the directions which Mr. Oglethorpe gave. The 
ground consisting of loose sand, it was a difficult matter to 
construct the parapets : " therefore they used the same 
Method to support it as Cyesar mentions in the Wars of 
Gaul, laying Trees and Earth alternately, the Trees prevent- 

* This island was named Wiasoo by the Indians, signifjang Sassafras. It was called 
Cumberland in memory of his Royal Highness, the Duke of Cumberland, at the sugges- 
tion of Toonahowi,— nephew of Tomo-chi-chi,— to whom, during his visit to England, the 
Duke had given a gold repeating watch, that he "might know how the time went." 
" We will remember him at all times," said Toonahowi, "and therefore will give this 
Island this name." 

t Called by the Spaniards Santa Maria. 


ing the Sand from falling, and the Sand the Wood fi^om 

Upon their return to Frederica the Indians encamped 
near the town, and, on the 26th, favored Mr. Oglethorpe and 
all the people with a War Dance. " They made a King, 
in the middle of which four sat down, having little Drums 
made of Kettles, cover'd wdth Deer-skins, upon which they 
beat and sung : Round them the others danced, being naked 
to their Waists, and round their Middles many Trinkets tied 
with Skins, and some with the Tails of Beasts hanging down 
behind them. They painted their Faces and Bodies, and 
their Hair was stuck with Feathers : In one Hand they had 
a Rattle, in the other Hand the Feathers of an Eagle, made 
up like the Caduceus of Mercury : They shook these Wings 
and the Rattle, and danced round the Ring with high 
Bounds and antick Postures, looking much like the Figures 
of the Satyrs. 

" They shew'd great Activity, and kept just Time in their 
Motions ; and at certain times answer'd by way of Chorus, 
to those that sat in the Middle of the Ring. They stopt, 
and then stood out one of the chief Warriors, who sung 
what Wars he had been in, and described (by Actions as well 
as by Words) which way he had vanquish'd the Enemies of 
his Country. When he had done, all the rest gave a Shout 
of Approbation, as knowing what he said to be true. The 
next Day Mr. Oglethorpe -gave Presents to Toma-chi-chi and 
his Indians, and dismiss' d them with Thanks for their 
Fidelity to the King."* 

For the further protection of the approaches to Frederica 
by the inland passages, a strong battery, — called Fort St. 
Simons, — was erected at the south end of St. Simons' island. 

= Moore's Voyage to Georgia, p. 71. London^ 1744, 


It was designed to command the entrance to Jekyll sound, 
xldjacent to it was laid out a camp containing barracks and 
liuts for the soldiers. At the southern extremity of Cumber- 
land island Fort William was afterwards built with a view 
to controlling AmeHa sound and the inland passage to St. 
Augustine. Upon San Juan island to the south, and near 
the entrance of the St. Johns river, Oglethorpe had observed 
the traces of an old fort. Thither he sent Captain Herms- 
dorf, and a detachment of Highlanders, with instructions to 
repair and occupy it. Having ascertained that this island 
was included in the cession of lands made by the Indians to 
his Majesty, he named the island George, and called the 
fortification fort St. George. With the exception of one or 
two posts of observation, this constituted the most southern 
defense of the Colony, and was regarded as an important 
position for holding the Spaniards in check, and for giving 
the earliest intelligence of any hostile demonstration on 
their part.^ The energy and boldness displayed by the Com- 
mander in Chief in developing his line of occupation so far to 
the south, and in the very teeth of the Spaniards in Florida, 
are quite remarkable, and indicate on his part not only a 
daring bordering upon rashness, but also no little confidence 
in the courage and firmness of the small garrisons detailed 
to fortify and hold these advanced and isolated positions. 
Returning to Frederica from this tour of observation, Mr. 
Oglethorpe found the workmen busily occupied in construct- 
ing the fort, whose outer works were being " palisaded with 
Cedar Posts to prevent our Enemies turning up the green 
Sod." Upon the bastions, platforms of two inch plank were 

*0n the South-west side of Cumberland island, and upon a high neck of land command- 
ing the water approaches each way, Fort St. Andrews was subsequently built. " Its 
walls were of wood, filled in with earth. Round about were a ditch and a palisade. "t 

t Wesley's Joixrnal, p. 61, Bristol, n. d. 


laid for the cannon. A piece of marsh lying below the fort 
was converted into a water battery, called "the Spnr," the 
guns of which, — being on a level with the water, — were 
admirably located for direct and effective operation against 
all vessels either or descending the river. 

A well was dug within the fort which yielded an abundant 
supply of "tolerable good water." The people having no 
bread, and the store of biscuits being needed for the crews 
of the boats which were kept constantly moving from point 
to point, an oven was built, and an indented servant, — a 
baker by trade, — was detailed to bake bread for the Colony. 
For the floifi' furnished by each individual an equal weight 
was returned in bread, "the difference made by the water and 
salt" being the baker's gain. This fresh bread, in the lan- 
guage of one who partook of it, was a great comfort to the 
people. Venison brought in by the Indians was frequently 
issued in lieu of salt provisions ; and poultry, hogs, and sheep 
were occasionally killed for the sick. Such domestic animals, 
however, were, at that early period, so scarce in the settle- 
ment, that they were carefully guarded for the purpose of 
breeding. A little later, live stock came forward in abund- 
ance, by boats from Port Royal and Savannah. 

Grave apprehensions were entertained of an attack from 
the Spaniards, and Mr. Oglethorpe was untiring in his efforts 
to place the southern frontier in the best possible state of 
defense. It is remarkable how much was accompHshed 
under the circumstances. His energy was boundless, his 
watchfulness unceasing. Scout boats were constantly on 
duty observing the water approaches fi'om the south as far 
as the mouth of the St. Johns. Indian runners narrowly 
watched the walls of St. Augustine, and conveyed intelligence 
of every movement by the eneuiy. Look-outs were main- 


tained at all necessary points to give warning of threatened 
danger. Mr. Bryan and Mr. Barnwell promised, in case 
Frederica or its out-posts were attacked, to come to their 
support with a strong body of volunteers from Carolina. 
Chiefs of the Cheehaws and the Ci"eeks volunteered their 

Acting upon the belief that it was better to confront the 
Spaniards upon the confines of the Colony than abide the 
event of their invasion, volunteers came in such numbers 
from Carolina and Georgia that General Oglethorpe was 
compelled to issue orders that all who had plantations 
should remain at home and cultivate them until actually 
summoned to arms. 

Hearing a report that the Spaniards were intent upon 
dislodging the settlers from Frederica, Ensign Delegal, 
taking thirty men of the Independent Company under his 
command, and rowing night and day, reached Frederica on 
the 10th of May and tendered his services. Without per- 
mitting them to land, Oglethorpe ordered English strong 
beer and pro\dsions on board, sent a present of wine to 
Ensign Delegal, and, upon the same tide, in his scout boat 
conducted the party to the east point of St. Simons island 
where it is washed by Jekyll sound, and there posted the 
company, locating a spot for constructing a fort, and com- 
manding a well to be dug. By the 16th, Ensign Delegal had 
succeeded m casting up a considerable entrenchment and in 
mounting several cannon. 

This post,— strengthened on the 8th of June by the arrival 
of Lieutenant Delegal, with the rest of the Independent 
Company and thii'teen pieces of cannon belonging to them, — - 
was subsequently known as Delegal's Fort at the Sea-point. 

The workmen at Frederica were diligently employed in 


building a powder magazine under one of the bastions of 
the fort. It was made of heavy timber covered with several 
feet of earth. The construction of a large store-house, a 
smith's forge, a wheelwright's shop, and a corn-house also 
engaged their attention. The men capable of bearing arms 
were trained in military exercises each day by Mr. Mcintosh. 
The Colonists were in a state of constant alarm, and every- 
thing was made subservient to the general defense. Even . 
the feeble avowed their willingness to sacrifice their lives in f 
protecting their new homes. Inspired by the intrepidity 
and vigilance, the fearlessness and the activity of the Gen- 
eral, — who was constantly on the move, visiting the advanced 
works, pressing his reconnoissances even within the enemy's 
lines, and making every available disposition of men and 
munitions which could conduce to the common safety, — 
soldiers and citizens kept brave hearts, labored incessantly 
and cheerfully, observed a sleepless watch upon the sea and 
its inlets, and stood prepared to offer stout resistance to the 
Spaniard. It was a manly sight, that little colony fearlessly 
planting itself upon island and headland, separated from 
all substantial support, and yet extending itself on land and 
water to the very verge of hostile hues held by an enemy 
greatly superior in men and the appliances of warfare. 

This state of uncertainty and alarm continued along the 
southern frontier of Georgia until, by conference between 
Mr. Oglethorpe and the Spanish Commissioners in Jekyll 
sound on the 19th of June, there occurred an amicable 
adjustment of pending disputes. The healths of the King 
and Koyal Family of Great Britain, and of the King and 
Queen of Spain, were drank amid salvos of artillery from 
the sloop Hawk and the Sea-Point Battery ; and when the 
Spaniards set out on the 2*2d to return to St. Augustine, they 


expressed themselves pleased with their reception and 
amicably inclined towards the Colony and its knightly 
General. This period of tranquility was of but short dura- 
tion. In the fall of the year a peremptory demand was 
made by the Spanish Government for the evacuation by the 
English of all territory lying south of St. Helena's sound. 

Perceiving that vigorous measures and a stronger force 
were requisite for the preservation of the Colony, and 
yielding to the solicitations of the Trustees that he should be 
present at the approaching meeting of Parliament to in- 
fluence larger supplies for Georgia, Mr. Oglethorpe, having 
made the best possible arrangements for the government 
and protection of the province during his absence, embarked 
for England on the 29th of November, 1736.^' 

During his absence in England, nothing of special moment 
transpired on the southern frontiers. Mr. Horton appears 
to have been left in general charge of the defenses in that 
quarter. He established himself at Erederica, whence he 
made frequent tours of inspection to its out-posts and de- 
pendent works. Of a visit which he paid to the town early 
in February, 1737, Mr. Stephens, Secretary of the Colony, 
gives us rather a stupid account,t from which we gather that 
the inhabitants were living "in perfect Peace and Quiet, 
without Fear of any Disturbance from Abroad, and without 
any Strife or Contention at Law at Home, where they 
sometimes opened a Court, but very rarely. had any Thing to 
do in it." Only slight improvements had been made during 
the preceding year in clearing and cultivating land, because 
of the constant apprehension of incursion by the Spaniards, 

* See Wright's Memoir of Gen'l James Oglethorpe, p. 167. London, 1867. 
t See A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, &c., vol. i, p. 98. London, 1742. 


and the amount of military service the able-bodied men 
were obliged to perform. 

Moved by the indications of hostility on the part of the 
Spaniards, and yielding to the entreaties of the Trustees" 
that additional troops be provided for the protection of the 
Colony, his Majesty, in June, 1737, appointed Oglethorpe 
General of all forces in Carolina as well as in Georgia, and 
authorized him to raise a regiment. In October of that year, 
and before his regiment had been fully recruited, he was 
commissioned as Colonel. The relief of Georgia being re- 
garded as important, a body of troops was sent thither from 1 
Gibraltar, which reached Savannah early in May, 1738, and 
was transferred from that point to the South for the defense 
of the frontiers. The famous clergyman George Whitefield, 
detailed to take Mr. Wesley's place in the Colony, was a 
passenger on board the ship in which these soldiers were 
transported. About the same time two or three companies 
of the General's own regiment, under the command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel James Cochrane, arrived in Charleston, 
and were marched southward by the road which ran from 
Port Royal to Darien.f Oglethorpe's regiment was limited 
to six companies of one hundred men each, exclusive of non- 
commissioned officers and drummers. To it a grenadier 
company was subsequently attached. Disdaining to " make 
a market of the service of his country " by selling commis- 
sions, the General secured the appointment, as officers, only 
of such persons as were gentlemen of family and character in 
their respective counties. He also engaged about twenty 
young gentlemen of no fortune to serve as cadets. These 
he subsequently promoted as vacancies occurred. So far 

* See one of the Memorials of tlie Trustees in ''An Account Shewing tlie Progress of the 
Colony of G-eorgia," &c., p. 58. ' London, 1741. 
t See Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 191. London, 1867. 


from deriving any pecuniary benefit from these appoint- 
ments, the General, in some cases, from his private fortune 
advanced the fees requisite to procure commissions, and 
provided moneys for the purchase of uniforms and clothing. 
xlt his own expense he engaged the services of forty super- 
numeraries, — "a circumstance," says a contemporaneous 
writer, "very extraordinary in our armies, especially in our 

In order to engender in the hearts of the enlisted men 
an interest in and an attachment for the Colony they were 
designed to defend, and with a view to induce them even- 
tually to become settlers, permission was granted to each to 
take a wife with him. For the support of the wife, addi- 
tional pay and rations were provided."'^ So carefully was 
this regiment recruited and officered, that it constituted one 
of the best military organizations in the service of the King. 

Sailing from Portsmouth on the 5th of July, 1738, with 
the rest of his regiment, — numbering, with the women, 
children, and supernumeraries who accompanied, between 
six and seven hundred souls, — in five transports convoyed 
by the men of war Blandford and Hector, General Ogle- 
thorpe iirrived safely in Jekyll sound on the 18th of the 
following September. t The next day the troops were landed 
at the Soldiers Fort, on the south end of St. Simon's island* 
This arrival was welcomed by an artillery salute from the 
battery, and by shouts from the garrison. Upon coming 
within soundings off the Georgia coast on the 13th, Sir 
Yelverton Peyton, in the Hector, parted company and sailed 
for Virginia. Until the 21st, the General encamped near the 

* See Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 188, 189. Boston, 1841. 

Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 191. London, 1867. 

Gentleman's Magazine, vol. viii, p. 164. 
t Stephens' Journal of Proceedings, vol. i, pp. 294, 295. London, 1742. 


Fort, superintending the clisembarcation and issuing neces- 
sary orders. His regiment was now concentrated, and every 
officer is represented to liave been at liis post. 

Frederica was visited on the 21st, and there Oglethorpe 
was saluted with fifteen guns from the fort. The Magis- 
trates and towns-people waited upon him in a body, tender- 
ing their congratulations upon his return. Several Indians 
were present who assured him that the Upper and Lower 
Creeks were in readiness to come and see him so soon as 
they should be notified of his presence.^- In a letter t to Sir 
Joseph Jekyll, under date 19th September, 1738, General 
Oglethorpe, alluding to the fact that the Spaniards, although 
having fifteen hundred men at St. Augustine, — there being 
nothing but the mihtia in Georgia, — had delayed their con- 
templated attack until the arrival of the Regular Troops, 
acknowledges that God had thus given " the greatest marks 
of his visible Protection to the Colony." He advises Sir 
Joseph that the passage had been fine,— but one soldier 
having died, — and that the inhabitants who had hitherto 
been so harrassed by Spanish threats were now cheerful, be- 
lieving that the worst was over, and that, — relieved from the 
constant guard duty which they had been compelled to per- 
form, some times two days out of five, to the neglect of their 
crops and improvements, — they might now prosecute their 
labors and make comfortable provision for the future. Ee- 
ahzing the necessity of opening direct communication be- 
tween Frederica and the Soldiers Fort at the south end of 
the island, on the 25th General Oglethorpe set eYerj male to 
wOrk cutting a road to connect those points. So energeti- 
cally was the labor prosecuted, that although the woods 

* Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1739, p. 22. 

t Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. in, p. 48. Savannah., 1873. 


were thick and the distance nearly six miles, the task was 
compassed in three days. 

To the Honorable Thomas Spalding^ are we indebted for 
the following description of this important avenue of com- 
munication: "This road after passing out of the town of 
Frederica in a south-east direction, entered a beautiful 
prairie of a mile over, when it penetrated a dense, close oak 
wood ; keeping the same course for two miles, it passed to 
the eastern marsh that bounded St. Simon's seaward. Along 
this marsh, being dry and hard, no road was necessary, and 
none was made. This natural highway was bounded on the 
east by rivers and creeks and impracticable marshes ; it was 
bounded on the west, (the island side) by a thick wood 
covered with palmetto and vines of every character so as to 
be impracticable for any body of men, and could only be 
traveled singly and alone. This winding way along the 
marsh was continued for two miles, when it again passed up 
to the high land which had become open and clear, and from 
thence it proceeded in a direct line to the fort, at the sea 
entrance, around which, for two hundred acres, five acre 
allotments of land for the soldiers had been laid out, cleared, 
and improved. I have again been thus particular in my 
description, because it was to the manner in which this road 
Avas laid out and executed, that General Oglethorpe owed the 
preservation of the fort and town of Frederica. ^ ^ ^' 
His fort and batteries at Frederica were so situated as to 
water approaches, and so covered by a wood, that no num- 
ber of ships could injure them. And he now planned his 
land route in such a manner, that again the dense wood of 
our eastern islands became a rampart mighty to save. And 

I* Sketch of the Life of General James Oglethorpe. Collections of the G-eorgia Histori- 
cal Society, vol. i, p 261. Savannah, 1840. 


fifty Highlanders and four Indians occupying these woods 
did save." 

We learn from that admirable " History of the Rise, Pro- 
gress, and Present State of the Colony of ^Georgia," con- 
tained in Dr. Harris' Complete Collections of Yoyages and 
Travels,"' that "on the arrival of the Regiment of which Mr. 
Oglethorpe was appointed Colonel, he distributed them in the 
properest manner for the Service of the Colony ; but not- 
withstanding this was of great Ease to the Trustees, and a 
vast Security to the Inhabitants, yet Colonel Oglethorpe still 
kept up the same Discipline, and took as much Care to form 
and regulate the Inhabitants with respect to militarj^ Affairs 
as ever. He provided likewise different Corps for different 
Services ; some for ranging the Woods ; others, light armed, f 
for sudden Expeditions ; and he likewise provided Vessels 
for scouring the Sea Coasts, and for gaining Intelligence. 
In all which Services he gave at the same time his Orders 
and his Example ; there being nothing he did not which he 
directed others to do ; so that if he was the first Man in the 
Colony, his Pre-eminence was founded upon old Homer's 
Maxims : He was the most fatigued, and the first in Danger, 
distinguished by his Cares and his Labours, not by any 
exterior Marks of Grandeur, more easily dispensed with, 
since they were certainly needless." 

The finances of the Trust being in a depressed condition, 
the General drew largely upon his private fortune and 
pledged his individual credit in conducting the operations 
necessary for the security of the southern frontiers and in 
provisioning the settlers. To Alderman Heathcote he 
writes: "I am here" [at Frederica] "in one of the most 
dehghtful situations as any man could wish to be. A 

* Vol. II, p. o32. Loudon, 1748. 


great number of Debts, empty magazines, no money to 
supply them, numbers of people to be fed, mutinous soldiers 
to command, a Spanish Claim and a large body of their 
Troops not far from us. But as we are of the same kind of 
spirit, these Difficulties have the same effect upon me, as 
those you met with in the City, had upon you. They rather 
animate than daunt me."'^ 

Again, on the 16th of November, 1739, he advises the 
Trustees :t "I am fortifying the Town of Frederica' <fe hope 
I shall be repaid the Expences ; from whom I do not know, 
yet I could not think of leaving a number of good houses 
and Merch'ts Goods and, which was more valuable, the 
Lives of Men, Women and Children in an open Town at the 
mercy of every Party, and the Inhabitants obliged either to 
fly to a Fort and leave their Effects, or suffer with them." 

That the Trustees might be fully informed of the condi- 
tion and needs of the Province, Mr. Horton, — who com- 
manded the Southern Division during Oglethorpe's ab- 
sence, — was sent to London about the close of the year 
1739. The letter J of advice which he bore, contains an 
interesting account of the affairs of the Colony. In it Gen- 
eral Oglethorpe states that his Regiment of Foot being 
unable to perform garrison duty and undertake the requisite 
marches on the main to overtake Indians and horsemen, he 
had been compelled to associate Indian allies whom he had 
armed, supplied with ammunition, fed, and clothed, in con- 
sideration of their services. Sixty Rangers, to act as scouts, 
had been recruited and mounted. By means of his boats, 
and the Colony Periagua, — which had been fitted out with 
four guns and a crew of forty men, — he had succeeded in 

* Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iii, p. 62. Savannah, 1873. 

tldem, p. 94. 

+ See Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. in, pp. 97, 101. Savannah, 1873. 


driving the Spaniards out of tlie mouth of the St. Johns 
river. The forts having been originally built of earth and 
hastily constructed, had fallen sadly out of repair. To 
place them in proper condition was then his earnest en- 
deavor. "Upon the Hostilities being committed," so runs 
the letter, "I thought I should be answerable for the blood 
of these people before God and man if I had left them open 
to be surprised by Spanish Indians, and murdered in the 
iiight and their houses burnt, and if I did not take all proper 
means for their defence, they being' under my charge." 
With this end in view, he resolved to enclose the town of 
Frederica with fortifications. Thi« defensive work is thus 
described : " It is half an Hexagon with two Bastions, and 
two half Bastions and Towers, after Monsieur Vauban's 
method, upon the point of each Bastion. The Walls are of 
earth faced with Timber, 10 foot High in the lowest place, 
and in the highest 13, and the Timbers from eight inches to 
twelve inches thick. There is a wet Ditch 10 foot wide, and 
so laid out that if we had an allowance for it, I can by 
widening the Ditch double the thickness of the Wall and 
make a covered way. I hope in three months it will be 
entirely finished, and in that time not only to fortify here 
but to repair the Forts on A^melia and Saint Andrews. The 
Expence of these small above mentioned Works, which is all 
that I can now make, will not be great. Frederica will come 
within £500, St. Andrews £400, and AmeHa £100."- 

In the midst of his multifarious engagements and per- 
plexities, in which General Oglethorpe exhibited the highest 
executive ability, and an activity and self abnegation worthy 
of all admiration, he was embarrassed by treachery within 

* Compare Harris' Complete- Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. ii, p. 337. London, 


his camp which well nigh eventuated in the most serious 
consequences. A plan, — set on foot by one of the soldiers 
who had been in the Spanish service, — to murder the officers 
and escape to the enemy with such plunder as could be 
secured, was discovered in time to prevent its execution. 
The ring- leaders were tried, convicted, whipped, and drum- 
med out of the regiment. 

Early in November, 1738, General Oglethorpe took up his 
temporary quarters at Fort St. Andrew, on Cumberland 
island, that he might personally superintend and encourage 
the construction of the military defenses which were being 
there erected. This island was then garrisoned by the com- 
panies which had been detailed from Gibraltar. In addition 
to their pay these troops, for a limited period after their 
arrival in Georgia, had been allowed extra provisions from 
the King's store. When, in November, these rations were 
discontinued, conceiving themselves wronged and defrauded 
of their rights, the men became dissatisfied. As the General 
was conversing at the door of his hut with Captain MacKay, 
a turbulent fellow had the temerity to come up unannounced 
and demand a renewal of the allowance. Oglethorpe replied 
that the terms of enlistment had been fully complied with : 
and that if he desired any favor at his hand such rude and 
disrespectful behavior was not calculated to secure a favor- 
able consideration of his application. The fellow thereupon 
became outrageously insolent. Captain MacKay drew his 
sword, which the desperado wrested from him, broke in half, 
and, having thrown the hilt at that officer's head, rushed 
away to the barracks. There snatching up a loaded gun 
and crying aloud "One and All," he ran back, followed by 
five or more of the conspirators, and fired at the General. 
Being only a few paces distant, the ball whizzed close by 


Oglethorpe's ear, while the powder scorched his face and 
singed his clothes. Another soldier presented his piece and 
attempted to discharge it. Fortunately it missed fire. A 
third drew his hanger and endeavored to stab the General, 
who, however, having by this time unsheathed his sword, 
parried the thrust. An officer coming up ran the ruffian 
through the body. Frustrated in their attempt at assassina- ■ 
tion, the mutineers sought safety in flight, but were appre- 
hended and put in irons. After trial by court martial the 
ring-leaders were found guilty and shot.^ 

Thus wonderfully was the General preserved for the 
important trusts committed to his care, and so narrowly 
was a calamity averted which would have plunged the 
Colony into the depths of uncertainty and peril. Had 
she been deprived, at this trying moment, of Oglethorpe's 
guidance, Georgia, feeble and uncertain, would have been 
left well-nigh naked to her enemies. 

Spanish emissaries from St. Augustine endeavored to 
inaugurate an insurrection among the negroes of South 
Carolina. To them freedom and protection were prom- 
ised. Every inducement was offered which could encour- 
age not onl}^ desertion from, but also massacre of theii* 
owners. Of the run-away slaves the Governor of Florida 
had formed a regiment, appointing officers from among 
them, and placing both officers and enlisted men upon 
the pay and rations allowed to the regular Spanish 
soldiers. Of this fact the Carolina negroes were ad- 

* Compare Grentleman's Magazine, vol. ix, pp. 214, 215. 

Stephens' Journal of Proceedings, vol.i, p. 326. London, 1742. 

McCairs History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 124, 125. Savannah, 1811. 

Hewitt's Historical Account of, the Eise and Progress of the Colonies of 

South Carolina and Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 70, 71. London, 1779. 
Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. r, pp. 154, 155. New York, 1847. 
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, pp. 204, 205, London, 18G7. 
Harris' Biographical Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 194, 195, 369. Boston, 1841. 


vised.* Tlie pernicious influence of such tampering with 
this servile population may be more readily conjectured 
than described. Thus did Spain grow daily more and 
more offensive in the development of her plans for the 
destruction of the English Colonies adjacent to her 
possessions in Florida. To the vigilance of Oglethorpe 
is Carolina largely indebted for her escape from the 
horrors of a servile insurrection, t 

By his personal interview with the Indians at Coweta 
town, Oglethorpe had secured the good will of the 
Creeks, the Cousees, the Tallapousees, the Cowetas, the 
Choctaws and the Chickesas, thus thwarting the machi- 
nations of the Spanish and French, and relieving the 
Colony from apprehensions of a most serious character. 
His energies were all directed to a careful preparation 
to meet the Spanish storm which was gathering and 
almost ready to burst upon the southern frontier of the 
Province. Referring to this perilous and protracted jour- 
ney performed by General Oglethorpe to propitiate these 
Indian tribes and secure from them pledges whose ob- 
servance was essential to the continuance of the Colony, 
Mr. Spaldingt justly remarks, "When we call into re- 
membrance the then force of these tribes, — for they 
could have brought into the field twenty thousand fight- 
ing men, — when we call to remembrance the influence 
the French had everywhere else obtained over the In- 
dians, — when we call to remembrance the distance he 
had to travel through solitary pathways from Frederica, 

* See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i., pp. 125, 126. Savannah, 1811. 

t Hewitt's Account of the Kise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and 
Georgia, vol. ir., pp. 72-74. London, 1779. 

t Sketch of the Life of General James Oglethorpe. Collections of the Georgia Historical 
Society, vol. i, p. 263. Savannah, 1840. 


exposed to summer suns, night dews, and to tlie treachery 
of any single Indian who knew, and every Indian knew, 
the rich reward that would have awaited him for the 
act from the Spaniards in St. Augustine or the French 
in Mobile ; surely we may proudly ask what soldier ever 
gave higher proof of courage? "What gentleman ever gave 
greater evidence of magnanimity ? What English gov- i 
ernor of an American province ever gave such assur- 
ance of de6p devotion to public duty?" 

But for this manly conference with the Red men in 
the heart of their own country, and the admiration 
with which his presence, courage, and bearing inspired 
the assembled Chiefs, Oglethorpe could not have com- 
passed the pacification and secured that treaty of amity 
so essential to the welfare of the Colony now on the 
eve of most serious difficulties with the Spaniards in 

On the 5th of October, 1739, at his little town four 
miles from Savannah, the venerable Tomo-chi-chi, — Ogle- 
thorpe's earliest and best friend among the Indians, — 
yielding to the effects of a lingering illness, died at the 
advanced age of ninety-seven years. The General acted 
as one of the pall-bearers, and the body of the old 
Chief, in accordance with his wish, was interred, with 
becoming honors, in one of the public squares in Sa- 
vannah. In his last moments he expressed no little 
concern that he was about to be taken away at a time 
when his services might prove of special value to his 
friends, the English, against the Spaniards, and coun- 
seled his people never to forget the favors he had 
received, when in England, from the King, and to per- 


severe in their amicable relations with the colonists.* 
These injunctions were not unheeded. Toonahowi — the 
favorite nephew of the aged Mico — accompanied General 
Oglethorpe in his expedition against St. Augustine ; and 
again, leading a party of Creek Indians, brought off 
from the very walls of that city Don Eomualdo Euiz 
del Moral, lieutenant of Spanish horse and nephew to 
the late governor of Florida, and delivered him a pris- 
oner to Oglethorpe. During the memorable and success- 
ful resistance maintained when St. Simon's island was 
attacked by the Spaniards in 1742, this brave Indian, 
illustrating the valor, personal courage, and friendship 
which characterized his distinguished uncle, remained 
firm in his attachment to the colonists and rendered 
valuable military service. On the 7th of July, although 
wounded in the right arm by Captain Mageleto, he 
drew his pistol with the left, and shot the Captain dead 
on the spot. This brave warrior and faithful ally was 
finally killed in 1743, at Lake di Papa, while valiantly 
fighting for the English against the Yemasee Indians.t 

The disputes existing between England and Spain cul- 
minated in a declaration of war in October, 1739. On 
the 15tli of November intelligence was brought to Frede- 
rica that a party of Spaniards had recently landed on 
Amelia island in the night, and, concealing themselves 
in the woods, had, on the ensuing morning, shot two 

*See Stephens' Journal of Proceedings, etc., vol. ii., p. 153. London, 1742. 
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. x., p. 129. 

Historical Sketch of Tomo-chi-chi, C. C. Jones, Jr., p. 120, et seq. Albany, 1868. 
For the precise location of Tomo-chi-chi's grave, see Plan of the City of Savannah 
and its Fortifications by John Gerar William DeBrahm, History of the Province of Geor- 
gia, etc., p. 36. Wormsloe, 1849. 

tSee Jones' Historical Sketch of Tomo-chi-chi, pp. 107, 108. Albany, 1868. 
Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xii, p. 497. 
Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 256, 257. Boston, 1841. 


unarmed Higlilanders who were in quest of fuel, and 
then, in the most inhuman manner, hacked their bodies 
mth their swords. Francis Brooks, — commanding the 
scout-boat, — heard the firing and gave the alarm to the 
fort, which was garrisoned by a detachment from Ogle- 
thorpe's regiment. Although pursued, the enemy escaped, 
leaving behind them the proofs of their inhuman butch- 
ery.^ Informed of the outrage, Oglethorpe manned a 
gunboat and followed in the hope of overtaking the 
party. The effort proved futile, and the General, by 
way of retaliation, passing up the St. Johns drove in 
the guards of Spanish horse posted on that river, and 
detached Captain Dunbar to ascertain the location and 
force of the enemy's fort at Picolata. This incursion 
was followed by another in January, which resulted in 
the capture of Forts Picolata and St. Francis, the gar- 
risons being made prisoners of war. In the assault 
upon the latter work General Oglethorpe narrowly es- 
caped death fi'om a cannon shot.t 

Chafing under these repeated annoyances experienced 
at the hands of the Spaniards, advised that the garri- 
son at St. Augustine was suffering for lack of provisions, 
and ascertaining that the gallej^s having been sent to 
Havana for reinforcements and supplies, the St. Johns 
river and the Florida coast were in a comparatively 
defenseless condition, the General deemed it a fitting 

* In tlie account of this transaction contained in' the Gentleman's Magazine lor 1740, 
(volume X, page 129,) it is stated that after they were shot, the heads of these two High- 
landers were cut off and their bodies cruelly mangled by the enemy. The perpetrators 
of this outrage consisted of Spaniards, negroes, and Indians. See Letter of General Ogle- 
thorpe to the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, dated November 16th, 1739. 

" The Spanish Hireling detected," etc., pp. 50, 51. London, 1743. 

tFor full details of these incursions see letter of Gen. Oglethorpe to Col. Stephens, 
dated Frederica, 1st February, 1740. 

Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iii., pp. 105-108, Savannah, 1873. 


opportunity to attempt the reduction of St. Augustine 
and the expulsion of the Spaniards from Florida. Ad- 
miral Yernon was instructed to assume the offensive 
against the Spanish possessions in the West Indies, while 
General Oglethorpe should conduct all available forces 
against the seat of their dominion in Florida. The as- 
sistance of Carolina was urgently invoked, but the au- 
thorities at first would not acquiesce in the feasibility 
of the enterprise."^ A rapid movement being regarded 
essential to success, General Oglethorpe repaired to 
Charleston to urge early and potent co-operation. As a 
result of the conference which there ensued, the Legis- 
lature, by an act passed April 5th, 1740, agreed to 
contribute a regiment of five hundred men to be com- 
manded by Colonel Vanderdussen, a troop of Rangers, 
presents for the Indians, and three months' provisions. 
A large schooner, — conveying ten carriages and sixteen 
swivel guns, and fifty men under the command of Cap- 
tain Tyrrell, — was also furnished for the expedition. Com- 

*In a letter dated Frederica, December 29th, 1739, General Oglethorpe explained to the 
Carolina authorities his designs against St. Augustine, and the assistance he desired to re- 
ceive from that Province. A requisition was therein made for twelve 18-pounder guns with 
two hundred rounds of ammunition for each piece, one mortar with proper complement of 
powder and bombs, eight hundred pioneers, either negroes or white men, and the requi- 
site tools "such as spades, hoes, axes, and hatchets to dig trenches, make gabelines, and 
fascines." Vessels and boats sufficient to transport the artillery, men, and j)rovisions, 
and six thousand bushels of corn or rice to feed the thousand Indians who were to unite 
in the expedition, were also demanded. He also desired that as many horsemen as coiild 
be collected, should, under the guidance of Mr. McPherson or Mr. Jones, cross the Savannah 
and rendezvous at the ferry on the '• Alata" river, from which point they would be con- 
ducted into "Spanish Florida." It was suggested that fifty good horsemen might be raised 
at "Purrisburg," and that four months' provisions for foiir himdred men of his regiment 
should be contributed, and also boats sufficient td transport them. Of artillery on hand 
the General reported thirty-six coehorns and about eighteen hundred shells. In addition 
to the four hundred men drawn from his regiment, and the Indians whom he had en- 
gaged, he expected to be able to arm and utilize for the expedition about two hundred 
men of the Georgia Colony, if arrangements could be made for paying and feeding them. 

For this letter in full, see Harris" Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. ir, 
pp. 338, 339. London, 1748. 

See also " The Spanish Hireling detected," etc., pp. 52-57. London, 1743. 


modore Yincent Price, with a small fleet, pledged his 

On the first of April General Oglethorpe published a 
manifesto, in which, recognizing Alexander Yanderdnssen, 
Esq., as Colonel of the Carolina regiment, he empowered 
him for the space of four months to hold regimental court 
martials for the trial of all offenders. At the expiration 
of that period all connected with that regiment were to 
be suffered to return to their homes. To the naval forces 
uniting in the expedition a full share of all plunder was 
guaranteed. To the maimed and wounded, and to the 
widows and orphans of such as might perish in the service, 
was promised whatever share of the spoils should fall 
to the lot of the General in Chief. Indian enemies, if taken 
captive, were to be treated as prisoners of war, and not 
as slaves.^ 

The mouth of the St. Johns was designated as the point 
of rendezvous. 

Kunners were sent from the Uchee town to the Indian 
alHes to inform them of the contemplated demonstration 
against St. Augustine, and to request a junction of their 
forces at Frederica at the earUest moment. This done, 
the General returned at once to St. Simons island where 
he devoted himself to equipping his forces and collecting 
the requisite munitions of war. 

Anticipating the concentration of his forces, and wishing 
to reduce the posts through which the enemy derived 
supplies from the country. General Oglethorpe, with four 
hundred men of his own regiment and a considerable force 
of Indians led by Molochi, — son of Prim, the late Chief 
of the Creeks, — Raven, war chief of the Cherokees, and 

See Harris' Memorials of Ogletliorpe, pp. 378, 380. Boston, 1841. 


Toonahowi, nephew of Tomo-clii-clii, on tlie 9tli of May 
passed over into Florida, and within a week succeeded in 
capturing Fort Francis de Papa^^ seventeen miles north 
of St. Augustine, and Fort Diegof situated on the plains 
twenty-five miles from St Augustine. The latter work was 
defended by eleven guns and fifty regulars, besides Indians 
and negroes. Leaving Lieutenant Dunbar and sixty men 
to hold this post, the General returned with the rest of his 
command to the place of rendezvous where, on the 19th 
of May, he was joined by Captain Mcintosh with a company 
of Highlanders, and by the Carolina troops under Colonel 
Yanderdussen. The anticipated horsemen, pioneers, and 
negroes, however, did not arrive. 

From the best information he could obtain, — gathered 
from prisoners and otherAvise, — General Oglethorpe ascer- 
tained that the Castle of St. Augustine at that time con- 
sisted of a fort, built of soft stone. Its curtain was sixty 
yards in length, its parapet nine feet thick, and its rampart 
twenty feet high, "casemated underneath for lodgings, and 
arched over and newdy made bomb-proof." Its armament 
consisted of fifty cannon, — sixteen of brass, — and among 
them some twenty-four pounders. The garrison had been 
for some time working upon a covered-way, but this was 
still in an unfinished condition. The town of St. Augustine 
was protected b}' a line of intrenchments with ten salient 
angles, in each of Avhich some field pieces were mounted. 

* The object of this fort was to guard the passage of the St. Johns river and maintain 
commnnication with St. Marks and Pensae-ola. It was a place of some strength, and the 
traces of the earth-works there thrown up may still be seen about a fourth of a mile 
north of the termination of the Bellamy road. 

Fairbanks' History and Antiquities of St Augustine, pp. 14-4. 145. New York, 1858. 

t This work had been erected by Don Diego de Spinosa upon his own estate. Its re- 
mains, with one or two cannon, are still visible. 

Idem, p. 144. 




In January, 1740, the Spanish forces in Florida, by estab- 
lishment, consisted of the following organizations :* 

1 Troop of Horse, numbering 100 oflacers and men. 

1 Company of Artillery, " 100 

3 Independent Companies of old Troops, each " 100 

2 Companies of the Regiment of Austurias, " " 53 
1 Company " " " Valencia, '" 53 

1 " " " " Catalonia, " 53 

2 Companies " " " Cantabria, " " 53 
2 " " " " Mercia, " " 53 

Armed Negroes, . 200 

White Transports for labor, 200 

I Company of Militia, (strength unknown.) 
Indians, (number not ascertained.) 

It was General Oglethorpe's original purpose, as fore- 
shadowed in his dispatch of the 27th of March, 1740,t 
with four hundred regular troops of his regiment, one 
hundred Georgians, and such additional forces as South 
Carolina could contribute, to advance directly upon St. 
Augustine, and attack, by sea and land, the town and 
the island in its front. Both of these, he believed, could 
be taken " sword in hand." He would then summon the 
castle to surrender, or surprise it. Conceiving that the 
castle would be too small to afford convenient shelter for 
the two thousand one hundred men, women, and children 
of the town, he regarded the capitulation of the fortress 
as not improbable. Should it refuse to surrender, how 
ever, he proposed to shower upon it " Granado-shells from , 
the Cohorns and Mortars, and send for the Artillery and 
Pioneers and the rest of the Aid promised by the As- 
sembly ;:|; also for Mortars and Bombs from Providence ; " 
and, if the castle should not have yielded prior to the 

* See Letter of General Oglethorpe to the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, under 
date December 29, 1739. " The Spanish Hireling detected," etc., pp. 57, 58. London, 1743. 
Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. ni, pp. 108, 109. Savannah, 1873. 
t" Spanish Hireling detected," etc., pp. 59-61. London, 1743. 
t Of South Carolina. 


arrival of "these Aids," he was resolved to open trenches 
and conduct a siege which he reckoned would be all the 
easier, the garrison having been weakened by the summer's 

About the time of the concentration of the Georgia and 
Carolina forces for combined operations against St. Augus- 
tine, that town was materially reinforced by the arrival of 
six Spanish half-galleys, — manned by two hundred regular 
troops and armed with long brass nine-pounder guns, — and 
two sloops loaded with provisions. 

Warned by the preliminary demonstration which eventu- 
ated, as we have seen, in the capture of forts Francis de 
Papa and Diego, the enemy massed all detachments within 
the lines of St. Augustine, collected cattle from the adjacent 
region, and prepared for a vigorous defense. 

Apprehending that he might not be able to carry the town 
by assault from the land side, — where its entrenchments were 
strong and well armed, — unless supported by a demonstra- 
tion in force from the men of war approaching the town 
where it looks toward the sea and where it was not covered 
by earth-works, and being without the requisite pioneer 
corps and artillery train for the conduct of a regular siege, 
before putting his army in motion General Oglethorpe 
instructed the naval commanders to rendezvous off the 
bar of the north channel, and blockade that and the 
Matanzas pass to St. Augustine. Captain Warren, with two 
hundred sailors, was to land on Anastasia island and erect 
batteries for bombarding the town in front. When his 
land forces should come into position and be prepared 
for the assault, he was to notify Sir Yelverton Peyton, 
commanding the naval forces, and St. Augustine would 
thus be attacked on all sides. Shortly after the middle 


of May, 1740, General Ogletliorpe, with a land army num- 
bering over two thousand regulars, militia, and Indians, 
moved upon St. Augustine. Fort Moosa," situated within 
two miles of that place, lay in his route. Upon his ap- 
proach the garrison evacuated it and retired within the 
lines of the town. Having burnt the gates of this fort 
and caused three breaches in its walls. General Oglethorpe, 
on the 5th of June, made his reconnoissances of the land 
defenses of St. Augustine and prepared for the contemplated 
assault. Everything being in readiness, the signal pre- 1 
viously agreed upon to insure the cooperation of the naval, 
forces was given ; but, to the General's surprise and morti- 
fication, no response was returned. His forces being dis- 
posed and eager for the attack, the signal was repeated, 
but failed to evoke the anticipated answer. Satisfied that 
the town could not be carried without the assistance of 
the naval forces, and being ignorant of the cause of their 
non-action, the General reluctantly withdrew his army 
and placed it in camp at a convenient distance, there to 
remain until he could ascertain the reason of the failure 
on the part of the navy to cooperate in the plan which 
had been preconcerted. This failure was explained in this 
wise. Inside the bar, and at such a remove that they 
could not be affected by the fire of the British vessels of 
war, — the Flamborough, the Phoenix, the Squirrel, the Tar- 
tar, the Spence, and the Wolf, — Spanish gallies and half 
gallies were moored so as to effectually prevent the ascent 
of the barges intended for the attack, and preclude a landing 
of troops upon Anastasia island. The shallowness of the 

* TMs was an out-post on tlie North river, about two miles north of St. Augustine. A 
fortified line,— a considerable portion of wbicb may now be traced,— extended across 
from the stoccades on the St. Sebastian to Fort Moosa. A communication by a tide creek 
existed through the marshes, between the Castle at St. Augustine and Fort Moosa. 

Fairbanks' History and Antiquities of St. Augustine, p. 144. New York, 1858. 


water was such that the men of war could not advance near 
enough to dislodge them. Under the circumstances there- 
fore, Sir Yelverton Peyton found himself unable to respond 
to the important part assigned him in the. attack. 

Advised of this fact, and chagrined at the non-realization 
of his original plan of operations, Oglethorpe determined 
at once to convert his purposed assault into a siege. The 
ships of war lying off the bar of St. Augustine were directed 
to narrowly observe every avenue of approach by water, 
and maintain a most rigid blockade. Colonel Palmer, with 
ninety-five Highlanders and forty-two Indians, was left 
at Fort Moosa with instructions to scout the woods inces- 
santly on the land side and intercept any cattle or supplies 
coming from the interior. To prevent surprise and capture, 
he was cautioned to change his camp each night, and keep 
always on the alert. He was to avoid anything like a 
general engagement with the enemy. Colonel Vanderdussen, 
with his South Carolina regiment, was ordered to take 
possession of a neck of land known as Point Quartel, about 
a mile distant from the castle, and there erect a battery. 
General Oglethorpe, with the men of his regiment and 
most of the Indians, embarked in boats and effected a 
landing on Anastasia island, where, having driven off a 
party of Spaniards there stationed as an advanced guard, 
he, with the assistance of the sailors from the fleet, began 
mounting cannon with which to bombard the town and 
castle."^ Having by these dispositions completed his in- 
vestment, Oglethorpe summoned the Spanish Governor to 

* The main battery on Anastasia island, called the Poza, was armed with four eighteen 
pounders and one nine pounder. Two eighteen pounders were mounted on the point of 
the wood of the island. The remains of the Poza battery are still to be seen, almost as 
distinctly marked as on the day of its erection. Four mortars and forty cohorns were 
employed in the siege. 

See Fairbanks' History and Antiquities of St. Augustine, p. 146. New York, 1868. 


a surrender. Secure in his strong-hold, the haughty Don 
"sent him for answer that he would be glad to shake hands 
with him in his castle." Indignant at such a response, 
the General opened his batteries upon the castle and also 
shelled the town. The fire was returned both by the fort 
and the half gallies in the harbor. So great was the dis- 
tance, however, that although the cannonade was maintained 
with spirit on both sides for nearly three weeks, little 
damage was caused or impression produced."^ It being 
evident that the reduction of the castle could not be ex- 
pected from the Anastasia island batteries. Captain Warren 
offered to lead a night attack upon the half gallies in the 
harbor which were effectually preventing all ingress by boats. 
A council of war decided that in as much as those galleys 
were covered by the guns of the castle, and could not be 
approached by the larger vessels of the fleet, any attempt 
to capture them in open boats would be accompanied by 
too much risk. The suggestion was therefore abandoned. 

Observing the besiegers uncertain in their movements, 
and their operations growing lax, and being sore pressed 
for provisions, the Spanish Governor sent out a detachment 
of three hundred men against Colonel Palmer. Unfortu- 
nately that officer, negligent of his instructions and ap- 
prehending no danger from the enemy, remained two or 
three consecutive nights at Fort Moosa. This detachment, 
under the command of Don Antonio Salgrado, passed 
quietly out of the gates of St. Augustine during the night of 
June 14th, and after encountering a most desperate resist- 
ance, succeeded in capturing Fort Moosa at day light, the 

* The light guns, from their long range, caused trifling effect upon the strong walls of 
the castle. When struck, they received the balls in their spongy, infrangible embrace, 
and sustained comparatively little injury. The marks of their impact may be noted to 
this day. 



next morning. Colonel Palmer fell early in the action. The 
Highlanders "fought like lions," and "made such havoc 
with their broadswords as the S]3aniards cannot easily 
forget." This hand-to-hand conflict was won at the cost 
to the enemy of more than one hundred lives. Colonel 
Palmer, a Captain, and twenty Highlanders were killed. 
Twenty-seven were captured. Those who escaped made 
their way to Colonel Vanderdussen at Pomt Quartel. Thus 
was St. Augustine relieved from the prohibition which had 
hitherto estopped all intercourse with the surrounding 

Shortly after the occurrence of this unfortunate event, 
the vessel which had been blockading the Matanzas river 
was withdrawn. Taking advantage of the opportunity thus 
afforded, some small vessels from Havana, with provisions 
and reinforcements, reached St. Augustine by that narrow 
channel, bringing great encouragement and relief to the 
garrison. This reinforcement was estimated at seven hun- 
dred men, and the supply of provisions is said to have 
been large. "Then," writes Hewitt,"^ whose narrative we 
have followed in the main, " all prospects of starving the 
enemy being lost, the army began to despair of forcing 
the place to surrender. The Carolinean troops, enfeebled 
by the heat, dispirited by sickness, and fatigued by fruit- 
less efforts, marched away in large bodies. The navy being 
short of provisions, and the usual season of hurricanes, 
approaching, the commander judged it imprudent to hazard 
his Majesty's ships by remaining longer on that coast. 
Last of all, the General himself, sick of a fever, and his 
regiment worn out with fatigue and rendered unfit for 

* Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and 
Georgia, vol. ii, p. 81. London, 1779. 


action by a flux, with sorrow and regret followed, and 
reached Frederica about the 10th of July, 1740." 

The Garolineans, under Colonel Yanderdussen, proved 
themselves inefficient, " turbulent, and disobedient." They 
lost not a single man in action, and only fourteen deaths 
occurred from sickness and accident. Desertions were fre- 

Upon Oglethorpe's regiment, and the Georgia companies, 
devolved the brunt of the siege. On the 5tli of July the 
artillery and stores on Anastasia island were brought off, | 
and the men crossed over to the mainland. t Yanderdussen 
and his regiment at once commenced a disorderly retreat . 
in the direction of the St. Johns, leaving Oglethorpe and I 
his men within half-cannon shot of the castle. In his dis- • 
patch to the Secretary of State, dated Camp on St. Johns in 
Florida, July 19th, 1740, the General thus describes his last 
movements : " The Spaniards made a sally, with about 500 
men, on me who la}" on the land side. I ordered En- 
sign Cathcart with twenty men, supported by Major 
Heron and Captain Desbrisay with upwards of 100 men, i 
to attack them ; I followed with the body. We drove them 
into the works and pursued them to the very barriers of 
the covered way. After the train and provisions were em- 
barked and safe out of the harbour, I marched with drums 
beating and colours flying, in the day, from my camp near 

* Stephens says, * * Most of the gay Voliinteers run away by small Parties, basely 
and cowardlj-, as they conld get Boats to carry them off during the Time of greatest 
Action : and Capt. Bull, (a son of the Lieutenant-Governor) who had the Command of a 
Company in that Regiment, most scandalously deserted his Post when upon Duty, and 
not staying to be relieved regularly, made his Flight privatelj", carrying off four Men of 
his Guard with him, and escaped to CJoarles Town; for which he ought in Justice to have 
been tried as a Deserter : but he was well received at home. 

Journal of Proceedings, &c., vol. rr, p. 462. London, 1742. 

Compare Ramsay's History of South Carolina, vol. i, p. 143. Charleston, 1809. 

t Wright's Memoir of General James Oglethorpe, p. 254. London, 1867. 


the town to a camp three miles distant, where I lay that 
night. The next day I marched nine miles, where I en- 
camped that night. We discovered a party of Spanish 
horse and Indians whom we charged, took one horseman 
and killed two Indians ; the rest ran to the garrison. I 
am now encamped on St.' Johns river, waiting to know 
what the people of Carolina would desire me farther to 
do for the safety of these provinces, which I think are 
very much exposed to the half-galleys, with a wide ex- 
tended frontier hardly to be defended by a few men." 

In one of the Indian chiefs Oglethorpe found a man 
after his own heart. When asked by some of the retreat- 
ing troops to march with them, his reply was, " No ! I 
will not stir a' foot till I see every man belonging to me 
marched off before me ; for I have always been the first 
in advancing towards an enemy, and the last in retreat- 

This failure to reduce St. Augustine may be fairly at- 

I ; to the delay in inaugurating the movement, caused 
mainly, if not entirely, by the tardiness on the part 
of the South Carolina authorities in contributing 
the troops and provisions for which requisition had 
been made ; 
II ; to the reinforcement of men and supplies from Ha- 
vanna introduced into St. Augustine just before the 
English expedition set out ; thereby materially re- 
pairing the inequality previously existing betweeii 
the opposing forces ; 

* See Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 239, 240. Boston, 1841, quoting from the 
Gentleman's Magazine. 


Ill ; to the injudicious movement against forts Francis 
de Papa and Diego, which put the Spaniards on 
the alert, encouraged concentration on their part, 
and foreshadowed an immediate demonstration in 
force against their stronghold ; and 
IV ; to the inability on the part of the fleet to partici- 
pate in the assault previously planned, and which 
was to have been vigorously undertaken so soon as 
General Oglethorpe with his land forces came into 
position before the walls of St. Augustine. 
Y. The subsequent destruction of Colonel Palmer's com- 
mand, — thereby enabling the enemy to communicate 
with and draw supplies from the interior, — the lack 
of heavy ordnance with which to reduce the castle 
from the batteries on Anastasia island, — the impos- 
sibility of bringing up the larger war vessels that 
they might participate in the bombardment, — the 
inefficiency of Colonel Yanderdussen's command, — 
the impatience and disappointment of the Indian 
allies who anticipated early capture and hberal 
spoils, — hot suns, heav}^ dews, a debilitating climate, 
sickness among the troops, and the arrival of men, 
munitions of war, and provisions through the Ma- 
tanzas river, in the end rendered quite futile every 
hope which at the outset had been entertained for 
a successful prosecution of the siege. 
Great was the disappointment upon the failure of -the 
expedition, and unjust and harsh the criticisms levelled by 
not a few against its brave and distinguished leader."^ We 

*See " An Impartial Account of the late Expedition against St. Augustine under General 
Oglethorpe," &c., London, 1742, which called forth "The Spanish Hireling detected," &c., 
London, 1743. 


agree with the Duke of Argyle who, in the British House 
of Peers, declared " One man there is, my Lords, whose 
natural generosity, contempt of danger, and regard for the 
public prompted him to obviate the designs of the Span- 
iards, and to attack them in their own territories ; a man 
whom by long acquaintance I can confidently affirm to have 
been equal to his undertaking, and to have learned the art 
of war by a regular education, who yet miscarried in the 
design only for want of supplies necessary to a possibility 
of success." 

Although this attempt, — ^so formidable in its character 
when we consider the limited resources at command, and 
so full of daring when we contemplate the circumstances 
under which it was undertaken, — eventuated in disappoint- 
ment, its effects were not without decided advantages to 
the Colonies. For two years the Spaniards remained on 
the defensive, and General Oglethorpe enjoyed an oppor- 
tunity for strengthening his fortifications on St. Simons 
island, so that when the counter blow was delivered by 
his adversary he was in condition not only to parry it, but 
also to severely punish the uplifted arm.""' 

For two months after the termination of this expedition, 
Oglethorpe lay ill of a continued fever contracted during 

* For fuller account of this demonstration against St. Augustine see Harris' " Complete 
Collection of Voyages and Travels," &c., pp. 339, 340. London, 1748. "An Impartial Ac- 
(•ount of the late Expedition against St. Augustine," &c. London, 1742. "The Spanish 
Hireling detected," &c. London, 1743. Stephens' "Joiirnal of Proceedings," &c., vol. ii, 
pp.438, 444-448, 461 et aliter. London, 1742. Hewitt's "Historical Account of the Else 
and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and G-eoi'gia," vol. ii, chap, viii, pp. 65-82. 
London, 1779. McCall's "History of Georgia," vol. i, pp. 143-151. Savannah, 1811. Ste- 
vens' "History of Georgia," vol. i., pp. 167-179. New York, 1847. Spalding's "Sketch of 
the Life of General James Oglethorpe," Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i, 
pp. 265-272. Savannah, 1840. Harris' "Biographical Memorials of James Oglethorpe," pp. 
222-242. Boston, 1841. Wright's "Memoir of General James Oglethorpe," &c., pp. 235- 
255. London, 1867. Bamsay's " History of South Carolina," vol. i., pp. 140-144. Charles- 
ton, 1809, &c., &c., &c. 

Fairbanks' History and Anticiuities of St. Augustine, piJ. 141-152. New York, 1858. 


the exposures and fatigues incident upon his exertions and 
anxieties during the siege. When, on the second of Sep- 
tember, Mr. Stephens called to see him at Frederica, he 
found him still troubled with a lurking fever and confined 
to his bed. His protracted sickness had so "worn away 
his strength" that he "seldom came down stairs, but re- 
tained still the same vivacit}-^ of spirit in appearance to 
all whom he talked with, though he chose to converse with 
very few."^ 

Four companies of the regiment were now encamped at 
the south-east end of St. Simons island, and the othe 
two at Frederica. So soon as the men recovered from the 
malady contracted at St. Augustine, they were busily occu- 
pied in erecting new fortifications and strengthening the 
old. From these two camps detachments garrisoned the 
advanced works, St. Andrew, Fort William, St. George, and 
the outposts on Amelia island ; — the details being reheved 
at regular intervals.! 

During the preceding seven years, Avhich constituted the 
entire life of the Colony, General Oglethorpe had enjoyed 
no respite from his labors. Personally directing all move- 
ments, — supervising the location, and providing for the 
comfort, safety, and good order of the settlers, — accom- 
modating their differences, — encouraging and directing their 
labors, — propitiating the x4.borigines, — influencing necessary 
supphes, and inaugurating suitable defences, he had been 
constantly passing from point to point finding no rest for 
the soles of his feet. Now in tent at Savannah, — now in 
open boat reconnoitering the coast, — now upon the southern 
islands, — his only shelter the wide-spreading hve-oak, — 


*Stepliens' "Journal of Proceedings," &c., vol. n, pp. 467-468, 494-495. London, 1742. 
t Idem, p. 496. 


designating sites for forts and look-outs, and with liis own 
hands planning military works and laying out villages, — 
again in journeys oft along the Savannah, the Great Ogee- 
chee, the Alatamaha, the St. Johns, and far off into the 
heart of the Indian country, — frequently inspecting his 
advanced posts, — undertaking voyages to Charlestown and 
"to England in behalf of the Trust, and engaged in severe 
contests with the Spaniards, his life had been one of in- 
cessant activity and solicitude. But for his energy, intel- 
ligence, watchfulness, and self-sacrifice, the enterprise must 
have languished. x4.s we look back upon this period of trial, 
uncertainty, and poverty, our admiration for his achieve- 
ments increases the more narrowly we scan his limited 
resources and opportunities, the more intelligently we ap- 
preciate the difficulties he was called upon to surmount. 
Always present wherever duty called or danger threatened, 
he never expected others to press on where he himself did 
not lead. The only home he ever owned or claimed in 
Georgia was on St. Simons island. The only hours of 
leisure he ever enjoyed were spent in sight and sound of 
his military works along the southern frontier, upon whose 
safe tenure depended the salvation of the Colony. Just 
where the military road connecting Fort St. Simon with 
Frederica, after having traversed the beautiful prairie, — 
constituting the common pasture land of the village, — 
entered the woods. General Oglethorpe established his 
cottage. Adjacent to it were a garden, and an orchard of 
oranges, figs and grapes. Magnificent oaks threw their 
protecting shadows above and aroujid this quiet, pleasant 
abode, fanned by delicious sea-breezes, fragrant with the 
perfume of flowers, and vocal with the melody of song-birds. 
To the westward, and in full view, were the fortifications 


and the white houses of Frederica. Behind rose a dense 
forest of oaks. "This cottage and fifty acres of land 
attached to it," says the honorable Thomas Spalding in 
his "Sketch of the life of General James Oglethorpe,"* 
"was all the landed domain General Oglethorpe reserved 
to himself, and after the General went to England it became 
the property of my father. * * " After the Revolu- 
tionary war, the buildings being destroyed, my father sold 
this little property. But the oaks were only cut down I 
within four or five years past, and the elder people of St. 
Simons yet feel as if it were sacrilege, and mourn their 
fall." Here the defences of St. Simons island were under 
his immediate supervision. His troops were around him, 
and he was prepared, upon the first note of warning, to 
concentrate the forces of the Colony for active operations. 
In the neighborhood several of his ofiicers established their 
homes. Among them, " Harrington Hall," — the country 
seat of the wealthy Huguenot, Captain Raymond Demere, 
enclosed with hedges of cassina, — was conspicuous for its 
beauty and comfort. 

Including the soldiers and their families, Frederica in 
1740 is said to have claimed a population of one thousand.t 
This estimate is perhaps somewhat exaggerated, although 
much nearer the mark than that of the discontents Tailfer, 
Anderson, and Douglas, who, in their splenetic and Jacobin- 
ical tract entitled " A True and Historical Narrative of the 
Colony of Georgia in America," assert that of the one 
hundred and forty-four lots into which the town was divided, 

* Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i, p. 273. Savannah, 1840, 
t Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i, p. 274. Savannah, 1840. 
Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. in, p. 434. Boston, 1852. 
In this estimate may properly be included such ofiicers and men of Oglethorpe's 
regiment as were there stationed. 


only "about fifty were built upon," and that "the number 
of the Inhabitants, notwithstanding of the Circulation of 
the Regiment's money, are not over one hundred and twenty 
Men, Women, and Children, and these are daily stealing 
away by all possible Ways.""'^' 

As we have already seen, the town was regularly laid out 
in streets called after the principal officers of Oglethorpe's 
regiment ; and, including the military camp on the north, 
the parade on the east, and "a small wood on the south 
which served as a blind to the enemy in case of attack 
from ships coming up the river," was about a mile and a 
half in circumference. The fort was strongly built of tabby 
and well armed. Several eighteen pounders, mounted on a 
ravelin in front, commanded the river, and the town was 
defended on the land side by substantial intrenchments. 
The ditch at the foot of these intrenchments was intended 
to admit the influx of the tide, thus rendering the isolation 
of Frederica complete, and materially enhancing the 
strength of its line of circumvallation. We reproduce from 
"An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the 
Province of Georgia "f the following contemporaneous 
notice : " There are many good Buildings in the Town, 
several of which are Brick. There is likewise a Fort and 
Store-house belonging to the Trust. The People have a 
Minister who has a Salary from the Society for propagating 
the Gospel. In the Neighbourhood of the Town, there 
is a fine Meadow of 320 Acres ditch'd in, on which a number 

* Page 106.. Charles-Town, Soixtli Carolina, 1741. 
t Pages 51 and 52. London, 1741. 

Compare "A State of the Province of G-eorgia attested upon Oath," &c., p. 11. Lon- 
don, 1742. 
" An Account Shewing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia," &c., p. 36. London, 1741. 
Wright's Memoir of Gen'l James Oglethorpe, pp. 263, 264. London, 1867. 


of Cattle are fed, and good Hay is likewise made from it. 
At some Distance from the Town is the Camp for General 
Oglethorpe s Regiment. The Country about it is well culti- 
vated, several Parcels of Land not far distant from the 
Camp having been granted in small Lots to the Soldiers, 
many of whom are married, and fifty-five Children were 
born there in the last year. These Soldiers are the most 
industrious, and willing to plant ; the rest are generally 
desirous of Wives, but there are not Women enough in | 
the Country to supply them. There are some handsome 
Houses built by the Officers of the Regiment, and besides 
the Town of Frederica there are other little Villages upon r 
this Island. A sufficient Quantity of Pot-herbs, Pulse, and f 
Fruit is produced there to su]3ply both the Town and 
Garrison ; and the People of Frederica have begun to malt 
and to brew ; and the Soldiers Wives Spin Cotton of the 
Country, which they Knit into Stockings. At the Town of 
Frederica is a Town-Court for administring Justice in the 
Southern Part of the Province, with the same Number of 
Magistrates as at Savannah.'' 

At the village of St. Simon, on the south point of the 
island, was erected a watch-tower from which the move- 
ments of vessels at sea might be conveniently observed. 
Upon their appearance, their number was at once an- 
nounced by signal guns, and a horseman dispatched to 
head quarters with the particulars. A look-out was kept 
by a party of Rangers at Bachelor's Redoubt on the main, 
and a Corporal's guard was stationed at Pike's Bluff. To 
facilitate communication with Darien a canal was cut 
through General's island. Defensive works were erected on 
Jekyll island, where Captain Horton had a well improved 
plantation, and there a brewery was established for supply- 


ing the troops with beer. On Cumberland island were three 
batteries, — Fort St. Andrew, — built in 1736, on high com- 
manding ground, at the north-east point of the island, — a 
battery on the west to control the inland navigation, — and 
Fort William, — a work of considerable strength and regu- 
larity, — commanding the entrance to St. Mary's river. Two 
companies of Oglethorpe's regiment were stationed near 
Fort St. Andrew. As many of the soldiers were married, 
lots were assigned to them which they cultivated and im- 
proved. Near this work was the little village of Barrimacke 
of twenty-four families. 

Upon Amelia island, where the orange trees were grow- 
ing wild in the woods, were stationed the Highlanders 
with their scout boats. They had a good plantation, — 
upon which they raised corn enough for their subsist- 
ence, — a little fort, and "a stud of horses and mares. ""^ 

"Nowhere," remarks Mr. Spalding,t "had mind, with 
the limited means under its control, more strongly evinced 
its power. And it will be seen hereafter, that it was to 
the great ability shown in the disposition of these works, 
that not Georgia only, but Carolina owed their preserva- 
tion ; for St. Simon's was destined soon to become the 
Thermopylae of the southern Anglo American provinces." 
Besides compassing the improvement of, and garrisoning 
his defensive works along the southern frontier with the 
men of his regiment, Oglethorpe kept in active service con- 
siderable bodies of Indians whose mission was to harrass 
the Spaniards in Florida, annoy their posts, and closely 
invest St. Augustine. So energetically did these faithful 

*See an Impartial Enquiry into tlie State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, &c., 
p. 53. London, 1743. 
Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 264. London. 1867. 

t Collections of the G-eorgia Historical Society, vol. i, p. 258. Savannah, 1840. 


allies discharge tlie duty assigned them, and so narrowly 
did they watch and thoroughly plague the garrison and 
inhabitants of St. Augustine, that they dared not venture 
any distance without the walls. Adjacent plantations re- 
mained uncultivated ; and, within the town, food, fuel, and 
the necessaries of life became so scarce that the Spanish 
government was compelled to support the population by 
stores sent from Havana. To the efficient aid of his In- 
dian allies was Oglethorpe on more than one occasion 
indebted for the consummation of important plans. It 
would not be an exaggeration to affirm that to their friend- 
ship, fidelity, and valor, was the Colony largely beholden' 
not only for its security, but even for its preservation. " If 
we had no other evidence," writes Mr. Spalding, " of the 
great abilities of Oglethorpe but what is offered by the 
devotion of the Indian Tribes to him, and to his memory 
afterwards for fifty years, it is all-sufficient ; for it is only 
master minds that acquire this deep and lasting influence 
over other men." 

In his letter to the Duke of Newcastle, dated Frederica, 
May 12th, 1741, Oglethorpe advises the Home Government 
of a reinforcement of eight hundred men newly arrived at 
St. Augustine, and of a declared intention on the part of 
the Spanish authorities to invade the provinces of Georgia 
and Carolina so soon as the result of Admiral Yernon's 
expedition in the West Indies should have been ascer- 
tained. He makes urgent demand for men-of-war to guard 
the water approaches, for a train of artillery, arms, and 
ammunition, and for authority to recruit the two troops 
of Rangers to sixty men each, and the Highland company 
to one hundred, to enlist one hundred boatmen, and to 
purchase or build, and man two half-galleys. Alludiug to 


the expected advance of the Spaniards, the writer con- 
tinues : " If our men of war will not keep them from 
coming in by sea, and we have no succour, but decrease 
daily by different accidents, all we can do will be to die 
bravely in his Majesty's service. ^ - I have often 
desired assistance of the men-of-war, and continue to do 
so. I go on in fortifying this town, making magazines, 
and doing everything I can to defend the Province vigor- 
ously, and I hope my endeavors will be approved of by 
his Majesty, since the whole end of my life is to do the 
duty of a faithful subject and grateful servant. I have 
thirty Spanish prisoners in this place, and we continue so 
masters of Florida that the Spaniards have not been able 
to rebuild any one of the seven forts which we destroyed 
in the last expedition." 

It does not appear that the men-of-Avar and ordnance 
requested were ever furnished. 

With a little squadron composed of the Guard sloop, the 
sloop "Falcon," and Captain Davis' schooner "Norfolk" 
carrying a detachment of his regiment under command of 
Major Heron, General Oglethorpe on the 16tli of August, 
1741, bore down upon a large Spanish ship lying at anchor, 
with hostile intent, off the bar of Jekyll sound. A heavy 
storm intervening, the Spanish vessel put to sea and was 
lost to sight. Unwilling to dismiss his miniature fleet 
until he had performed more substantial service, the Gen- 
eral boldly continued down the coast, attacked and put 
to flight a Spanish man-of-war, and the notorious privateer 
" Black-Sloop " commanded by Destrade, a French ofiicer, 
challenged the vessels lying in the inner harbor of St. Au- 
gustine to come out and engage his small squadron, re- 
mained at anchor all night within sight of the castle, 


cruised for some days off the Matanzas, and, after having 
alarmed the whole coast, returned in safety to Frederica. 
In the midst of these labors and anxieties incident upon 
his preparations to resist the threatened Spanish invasion, 
and at a time when harmony and content were most essen- 
tial to the well-being of the Colony, Oglethorpe was an- 
noyed by sundry complaints from evil-minded persons. 
Most of them were frivolous, and a few quite insulting in 
their character. The publication of two tracts, one enti- 
tled "An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of 
the Province of Georgia,"^ and the other "A State of the 
Province of Georgia attested upon Oath in the Court of 
Savannah, November 10, 1740,"t — both presenting favor- I 
able views of the Colony and disseminated in the interest * 
of the Trust, — irritated these malcontents and gave rise to 
several rejoinders, among which, as particularly reflecting 
upon the conduct of the commander-in-chief and his ad- 
ministration of affairs, may be mentioned "A Brief Account 
of the Causes that have Retarded the Progress of the 
Colony of Georgia in America, attested upon Oath, being 
a Proper Contrast to 'A State of the Province of Georgia 
attested upon Oath,' and some other misrepresentations 
on the same subject.":]: The charge was openly made 
that some of the magistrates at Savannah and Frederica 
(the principal towns in Georgia) had wilfully injured the 
people by declaring "from the Bench tliat the Laws of 
England were no laws in Georgia," by causing "false im- 
prisonments," by " discharging Grand Juries while matters 
of Felony lay before them," by "intimidating Petit Juries," 
and, in short, "by sticking at nothing to oppress the 

* London, 1741. 
t London, 1742. 
J London, 1743. 


people." It was further alleged that there was no way 
of applying for redress to his Majesty. General Oglethorpe 
was accused of partiality and tyranny in his administra- 
tion. In support of these charges various affidavits were 
obtained from parties claiming to be residents of Frederica, 
Darien, Savannah, Ebenezer, and Augusta, — most of them, 
however, being sworn to and verified outside the limits of 
Georgia. Those who are curious with regard to the con- 
tents of these affidavits, so far as they reflect upon the 
conduct of the Frederica magistrates, are referred to the 
depositions of Samuel Perkins, John Roberson, and Samuel 

A desire to sell forbidden articles, and to ply trades for 
which special permission had been granted to others, oppo- 
sition to the regulation which prohibited the owners of 
hogs and cattle from allowing them to run at large on the 
common and in the streets of Frederica, alleged misfeas- 
ance in the conduct of bailiffs and under-magistrates in 
the discharge of their duties, the unprofitableness of labor, 
overbearing acts committed by those in authority, and simi- 
lar matters formed the burthen of these sworn complaints. 
While they tended to distract the public mind and to 
annoy those upon whose shoulders rested the administra- 
tion of affairs, they fortunately failed in producing any 
serious impression either within the Colony or in the 
mother country. We allude to the subject in its proper 
connection simply as a matter of history, and to show how 
ill-judgecl and ill-timed were these efforts of the malcon- 
tents, among whom Pat Tailfer, M. D., Hugh Anderson, 
M. A., and Da: Douglas should not be forgotten. 

*A Brief Account of the Causes that have retarded the Progress of the Colony of 
Georgia, &c., Appendix, pp. 1-19. London, 1743. 



The utter destruction of the provinces of Georgia and 
South Carohna was the avowed object of the Spaniards, 
who promised to extend no quarter to Enghsh or Indians 
taken with arms in their hands. The struggle was to be 
desperate in the extreme. To the urgent apphcations for 
assistance forwarded by General Oglethorpe, Lieutenant- 
Governor Bull turned a deaf ear ; and the Carolinians, in- 
stead of furnishing supplies and munitions of war, and 
marching to the south to meet the invader where the battle 
for the salvation of both Colonies was to be fought, re- 
mained at home, leaving the Georgians single-handed to 
breast the storm."'' 

The Gentleman's Magazine^ contains the following esti- 
mate of the Spanish forces under the command of Don 
Manuel de Monteano, Governor of Augustine and Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the expedition, and Major General An- 
tonio de Rodondo, Engineer General, participating in the 
attack upon St. Simons island : 

" 2 Colonels with Brevits of Brigadiers. 

" One Regiment of Dragoons, dismounted, with theii- 
Saddles and Bridles. 

" The Regiment call'd The Battalion of the Havannali. 

" 10 Companies of 50 each, draughted off from several 
Regiments of Havannali. 

" One Regiment of the Havannali Militia, consisting of 
10 Companies of 100 Men each. 

" One Regiment of Negroes, regularly officer'd by Ne- 

" One ditto of Mulattas, and one Company of 100 Migue- 

*See Letter of General Oglethorpe, dated Frederica, June «th, 1742. 

Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 298. London, 1867. 
t For 17-12. Vol. sii, p. 694. 


" One Company of the Train with proper Artillery. 

" Augustine Forces consisting of about 300 Men. 

" Ninety Indians. 

" And 15 Negroes who ran away from South Carolina.'' 

From the various accounts of this memorable struggl 
we select that prepared by Oglethorpe himself, written on 
the spot, with the scars of battle fresh around him, and 
the smoke of the conflict scarce lifted from the low-lying 
shores and dense woods of St. Simons island. The com- 
manding eye that saw, the stern lips which answered back 
the proud defiance, and the strong arm which, under Provi- 
dence, pointed the way to victory, are surely best able to 
unfold the heroic tale. We present the report as it came 
from his pen :^ 

"Frederica in Georgia, 
30th July, 1742. 

" The Spanish Invasion which has a long time threatened 
the Colony. Carolina, and all North America has at last 
fallen upon us and God hath been our deliverance. General 
Horcasilas, Governour of the Havannah, ordered those 
Troops who had been employed against General Went- 
worth to embark with Ai'tillery and everything necessary 
upon a secret expedition. They sailed with a great fleet :t 
amongst them were two half Galleys carrying 120 men 
each & an 18 pound Gun. They drew but five feet water 
which satisfied me they were for this place. By good 
great Fortune one of the half Galleys was wrecked coming 
out.J The Fleet sailed for St. Augustine in Florida. Capt. 

*See Collections of tlie Georgia Historical Society, vol. iii, p. 133 et seq. Savannah, 1873. 

t Consisting of fifty-six sail, and between seven and eight thousand men. 

+ This was a large Settee having one hundred and fifty men on board. A few daj^s after" 
wards the fleet was dispersed by a storm so that all the shipping did not arrive at St. Au- 


Homer the latter end of May called here for Intelligence. 
I acquainted him that the Succours were expected and sent 
him a Spanish Pilot to shew him where to meet with them. 
He met with ten saiP w^hich had been divided from the Fleet 
by storm, but having lost 18 men in action against them, 
instead of coming here for the defence of this Place he 
stood again for Charles Town to repair, and I having cer- 
tain advices of the arrival of the Spanish Pleet at Augus- 
tine wa^ote to the Commander of His Majesty's Ships at 
Charles Town to come to our assistance.'!- 

" I sent Lieut. Maxwell who arrived there and delivered 
the letters the 12th of June, and afterwards Lieut. MacKayA 
who arrived and delivered letters on the 20th of June. 

" Lieut. Colonel Cook who was then at Charles Town, and 
was Engineer, hastened to England, and his son-in-law 
Ensign Eyre, Sub-Engineer, w^as also in Charles Town, and 
did not arrive here till the action was over ; so, for want of 
help, I myself was obliged to do the duty of Engineer. 

"The Havannah Fleet, being joined by that of Florida, 
composed 51 sail, with land men on board, a List of whom 
is annexed : they were separated, and I received advice 
from Capt. Dunbar (who lay at Fort William with the 
Guard Schooner of 14 Guns and ninety men) that a Spanish 
Fleet of 14 sail had attempted to come in there, J but being 

* Tliese lie attacked, driving some of them ashore. 

t" Never did the Carolineans," says Mr. Hewitt, -'make so bad a figure in the defence 
of their country. When union, activity and dispatch were so requisite, they ingloriously 
stood at a distance, and siiffering private pique to prevail over public spirit, seemed 
determined to risk the safety of their country, rather than General Oglethorpe by their 
help shoiild gain the smallest degree of honour and repiitation. * * "^ The Georgians 
Avith justice blamed their more powerful neighbors, who, by keeping at a distance in the 
day of danger, had almost hazarded the loss of both provinces." 

Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and 
Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 119, 1'20. London, 1779. 

JThis was on the 21st of June. Most of the accounts place the number of Spanish 
vessels, then attempting to enter Amelia Sound, at nine, instead of fourteen. 


drove out by the Cannon of the Fort and Schooner they 
came in at Cumberland Sound. I sent over Capt. Horton 
to land the Indians and Troops on Cumberland. I fol- 
lowed myself and was attacked in the Sound, but with two 
Boats fought my way through. Lieut. Tolson, who was 
to have supported me with the third and strongest boat, 
quitted me in the fight and run into a River where he hid 
himself till next day when he returned to St. Simons with an 
account that I was lost but soon after found. I was arrived 
there before him, for which misbehaviour I put him in 
arrest and ordered him to be tryed. The Enemy in this 
action suffered so much^ that the day after they ran out 
to sea and returned for St. Augustine and did not join 
their great Fleet till after their Grenadiers were beat by 

" I drew the Garrison from St. Andrews, reinforced Fort 
William, and returned to St. Simons with the Schooner. 

"Another Spanish Fleet appeared the 28th off the Barr : 
by God's blessing upon several measures taken I delayed 
their coming in till the 5th of July. I raised another Troop 
of Rangers, which with the other were of great service. 

" I took Captain Thomson's shipt into the service for 
defence of the Harbour. I imbargoe'd all the Vessells, 
taking their men for the service, and gave large Gifts 
and promises to the Indians so that every day we in- 
creased in numbers. I gave large rewards to men who 
distinguished themselves upon any service, freed the ser- 
vants, i brought down the Highland Company, and Com- 

*In endeavoring to reach St. Augustine for repairs, four of their vessels foundered at 

tThis was the merchant ship "Success," mounting twenty guns. The General sent one 
hundred soldiers on board of her and filled her with necessary military stores. Thus she 
became, in the language of one of her crew, "ready for twice the number of Spaniards." 

$For their passage and outfit, they had agreed to labor for the Trust for a given period. 

* 14 



pany of Boatmen, filled up as far as we had guns. All 
the vessels being thus prepared^ on the 5th of July with 
a leading Gale and Spring Tide 36 sail of Spanish ves- 
sels run into the Harbour in line of Battle. 

" We cannonaded them very hotly from the Shipping and 
Batterys. They twice attempted to board Capt. Thom- 
son t but were repulsed. They also attempted to board 
the Schooner, but were repulsed by Capt. Dunbar with 
a Detachment of the Regiment on board. 

" I was with the Indians, Bangers, and Batterys, and some 
times on board the ships, and left Major Heron with th 
Regiment. It being impossible for me to do my duty as 
General and be constantly with the Regiment, therefore it 
was absolutely necessary for His Majesty's service to have 
a Lieut. Colonel present, which I was fully convinced of 
by this day's experience. I therefore appointed Major 
Heron to be Lieut. Colonel, and hope that your Grace 
will move His Majesty to be pleased to approve the same. 

" The Spaniards after an obstinate Engagement of four 
hours, in which they lost abundance of men, passed all our 
Batterys and Shipping and got out of shot of them towards 
Frederica. Our Guard Sloop was disabled and sunk : one 
of our Batterys blown up, and also some of our Men on 

* This little fleet consisted of the "Success," Captain Thompson, of twenty guns and 
one hundred and ten men, with springs upon her cables, — G-eneral Oglethorpe's schooner 
of fourteen guns and eighty men,— and the sloop "St. Philip," of fourteen guns and 
eighty men. Eight York sloops were close in shore, with one man on board each of them, 
whose instructions were, in case the enemy were about to capture, to sink or run them 
on shore. 

Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xn, p. i95. 

t This attempt was made by the Spanish Commodore with a ship of twenty-two guns, 
and a settee with an eighteen pounder and two nine pounders in her bow. So stout was 
the resistance offered by Captain Thompson with the great guns of his ship, by Captain 
Carr and his company of Marines, and by Lieutenant Wall and Ensign Otterbridge in 
charge of a detachment from Oglethorpe's Kegiment, that the Spaniards were obliged to 
retire with loss. A snow of sixteen guns at the same time attempted to board the Guard 
Schooner, but was repulsed by Captain Dunbar. 

See Harris' Complete Collection of Voj-ages and Travels, vol. ii, p. 3il. London, 1748. 


board Capt. Thomson, upon which I called a Council of 
War at the head of the Kegiment where it was unanimously 
resolved to march to Frederica to get there before the 
Enemy and defend that Place. To destroy all the Provi- 
sions, Vessels, Artillery, &c., at St. Simon's, that they might 
not fall into the Enemy's hands. 

"This was accordingly executed, having first drawn all 
the Men on shoar which before had defended the shipping. 
I myself staid till the last, and the wind coming fortunately 
about I got Capt. Thompson's Ship, our Guard Schooner, 
and our Prize Sloop to sea and sent them to Charles Town. 
This I did in the face and spite of thirty-six sail of the 
Enemy : as for the rest of the Vessells, I could not save 
them, therefore was obliged to destroy them. 

"I must recomend to His Majesty the Merchants who 
are sufferers thereby, since their loss was in great measure 
the preserving the Province. 

"We arrived at Frederica, and the Enemy landed at St. 

" On the 7th a party of their's marched toward the Town : 
our Rangers discovered them and brought an account of 
their march, on which I advanced with a party of Indians, 
Rangers, and the Highland Company, ordering the Regiment 
to follow, being resolved to engage them in the Defiles 
of the Woods before they could get out and form in the 
open Grounds. I charged them at the head of our Indians, 

* From tlie statement made by five Spanish prisoners captured and brought in by the 
Creek Indians, it appeared that Don Manuel de Monteano, Governor of St. Augustine, was 
the Commander in Chief of the Expedition, and that Major General Antonio de Kedondo 
was Chief Engineer. He and two Brigadier Generals accompanied the forces which came 
from Cuba. The aggregate strength of the expedition was about five thousand men, of 
whom four thoiisand three hundred were landed on St. Simons. 

Heavy scouting parties were sent out in every direction by General Oglethorpe to ob- 
serve the movements of the enemy and retard any advance in the direction of Frederica, 
the defences of which were being strengthened as rapidly and as thoroughly as time and 
the forces at command would permit. 


Highland Men and Eangers, and God was pleased to give 
us such success that we entirely routed the first party, 
took one Captain prisoner,, and killed another, and pursued 
them two miles to an open Meadow or Savannah, upon 
the edge of which I posted three Platoons of the Regiment 
and the Company of Highland foot so as to be covered 
by the woods from the Enemy who were obliged to pass 
thro' the Meadow under our fire.* This disposition was 
very fortunate. f Capt. Antonio Barba and two other 
Captains with 100 Grenadiers and 200 foot, besides Indians- 
and Negroes, advanced from the Spanish Camp into the 
Savannah with Huzzah's and fired with great spirit, but 
not seeing our men by reason of the woods, none of their 
shot took place, but ours did. J 

* In tMs charge Oglethorpe encountered one hundred and twenty Spanish Pioneers, 
forty Yamassee Indians, and an equal number of negroes. So violent was the onslaught 
that nearly the whole party was either captured or slain. With his own hands the Gen- 
eral captured two prisoners. Captain Sanchio commanding this advance, was taken 
prisoner by Lieut. Scroggs of the Rangers, and Toonahowi, although shot through the 
right arm by a Spanish officer, drew his pistol with his left and killed his antagonist on 
the spot. 

See Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 305. 
McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i, p. 181. 

t After locating his troops, Oglethorpe hastened back to Frederica to prepare the Ran- 
gers and the Marine Company for action at a moments warning. 

t Captain McCall furnishes the following account of this affair : 

Captain Noble Jones, with a detachment of regulars and Indians, being out on a scout- 
ing party, fell in with a small detachment in the enemy's advance, who were surprised 
and made prisoners, not deeming themselves so far in front of the main army. From 
these prisoners information was received that the whole Spanish army was advancing : 
this was immediately communicated by an Indian runner to the General who detached 
Captain Dunbar Avith a company of grenadiers to join the regulars and Indians, with 
orders to harrass the enemy on their advance. These detachments having formed a 
junction, observed at a distance the Spanish army on the march ; and taking a favorable 
position near a marsh, formed an ambuscade. The enemy fortunately halted within a 
hundred paces of this position, stacked their arms, made fires, and were preparing their 
kettles for cooking, when a horse observed some of the party in ambuscade, and, fright- 
ened at the uniform of the regulars, began to snort, and gave the alarm. The Spaniards 
ran to their arms, but were shot down in great numbers by Oglethorpe's detatchment, 
who continued invisible to the enemy ; and after repeated attempts to form, in which some 
of their principal oflBicers fell, they fled with the utmost precipitation, leaving their camp 
equipage on the field, and never halted until they got under cover of the guns of their 
battery and ships. General Oglethorpe had detached Major Horton with a reinforcement, 
who arrived only in time to join in the pursuit. So complete was the surprise of the enemy. 


" Some Platoons of ours in the heat of the fight, the air 
being darkened with the smoak, and a shower of rain faUing, 
retired in disorder. 

" I hearing the firing, rode towards it, and at near two 
miles from the place of Action, met a great many men in 
disorder who told me that ours were routed and Lieut. 
Sutherland killed. I ordered them to halt and march back 
against the Enemy, which orders Capt. Demere and Ensign 
Gibbon obeyed, but another Officer did not, but made the 
best of his way to Town. As I heard the fire continue I 
concluded our Men could not be quite beaten, and that 
my immediate assistance might preserve them : therefore 
spurred on and arrived just as the fire was done. I found 
the Spaniards intirely routed by one Platoon of the Kegi- 
ment, under the Comand of Lieut. Sutherland, and the 
Highland Company under the Comand of Lieut. Charles 

" An Officer whom the Prisoners said was Capt. Don 
Antonio Barba* was taken Prisoner, but desperately 
wounded, and two others were prisoners, and a great many 
dead upon the spot. Lieut. Sutherland, Lieut. Charles 
MacKay and Sergt. Stuart having distinguished themselves 
upon this occasion, I appointed Lieut. Sutherland Brigade 
Major, and Sergt. Stuart second Ensign. 

that many fled witlioiit tlieir arms ; others in a rapid, retreat discharged their muskets 
over their shoulders at their pursuers ; and many were killed by the loaded arms which 
were left on the ground; generally the Spaniards fired so miich at random that the trees 
were pruned by the balls from their muskets ; their loss in killed, wounded and prison- 
ers, was estimated at five hundred. The loss in Oglethorpe's detachment was very in- 
considerable. From the signal victory obtained over the enemy, and the great slaiighter 
amongst the Spanish troops, the scene of action just described has ever since been de- 
nominated the bloody marshy 

+ History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 18.5, 187. Savannah, 1811. 

Compare Spalding's Life of Oglethorpe, Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, 
vol. I. pp. 281-284. Savannah. 1840. 

*The Spaniards regarded the loss of this officer as more severe than that of a thousand 


"Capt. Demere and Ensign Gibbon being arrived with 
tlie men they had rallied, Lieut. Cadogan with an advanced 
party of the Regiment, and soon after the whole Regiment, 
Indians, and Rangers, I marched down to a causeway over a 
marsh very near the Spanish Camp over which all were 
obliged to pass,- and thereby stopt those who had been 
dispersed in the fight in the Savannah from getting to the 
Spanish Oamp."^ Having passed the night there, the Indian 
scouts in the morning advanced to the Spanish Camp and 
discovered they were all retired into the ruins of the Fort 
and were making Intrenchments under shelter of the cannon I 
of the ships. That they guessed them to be above 4,000 
men. I thought it imprudent to attack them defended by 
Cannon with so small a number but marched back to 
Fredericat to refresh the soldiers, and sent out Partys of 
Indians and Rangeis to harrass the Enemy. I also ordered 
into arrest the officers who commanded the Platoons that 

" I appointed a General Staff : Lieut. Hugh MacKay and 
Lieut. Maxwell Aids de Camj^, and Lieut. Sutherland 
Brigade Major. J On ye 11th of July the Great Galley 
and two little ones came up the river towards the Town. 
We fired at them with the few Guns, so warmly that they 
retired, and I followed them with our Boats till they got 
under the cannon of their ships which lay in the sound. 

"Having intelligence from the Spanish Camp that they 
had lost 4 Captains and upwards of 200 men in the last 
Action, besides a great many killed in the sea-fight, and 

* In these two engagements the enemy had sustained a loss of two Captains, one Lieu- 
tenant, two Sergeants, two Drummers, and one hundred and sixty privates killed ; and 
one Captain and nineteen men captured. 

t This was on the 8th of July. 

$ During the 9th and 10th of July all hands were employed on the works at Frederica, 
except the scouts and Indians: the latter brought in some scalps and prisoners. 


several killed in the night bj the Indians even within 
or near the camp, and that they had held a Council of 
War in which there were great divisions, insomuch that 
the Forces of Cuba separated from those of Augustine 

and the Italick Regiment of Dragoons separated 

from them both at a distance from the rest near the woods, 
and that there was a general Terror amongst them, upon 
which I was resolved to beat up their Quarters in the 
night and marching down with the largest body of men 
I could make, I halted within a mile and a half of their 
camp to form, intending to leave the Troops there till I 
had well reconitred the Enemy's disposition. 

"A French Man who without my knowledge was come 
down among*st the volunteers fired his Gun and deserted. 
Our Indians in vain persued and could not take him. 
Upon this, concluding we were discovered, I divided the 
Drums in different parts and beat the Grenadiers march 
for about half an hour, then ceased, and we marched back 
with silence. 

"The next day* I prevailed with a Prisoner, and gave 
him a sum of money, to carry a letter privately and de- 
liver it to that French Man who had deserted. This Letter 
was wrote in French as if fi'om a friend of his, telling him 
he had received the money that he should strive to make 
the Spaniards believe the English were weak. That he 
should undertake to pilot up their Boats and Galleys and 
then bring them under the Woods where he knew the 
Hidden Batterys were ; that if he could bring that about, 
he should have double the reward he had already received. 
That the French Deserters should have all that had been 
promised to them. The Spanish Prisoner got into their 

* July 13tli. 


Camp and was immediately carried before theii' General 
Don Manuel de Montiano. He was asked how he escaped 
and whither he had any letters, but denying his having any, 
was strictly searched and the letter found, and he upon 
being pardoned, confessed that he had received money to 
deliver it to the Frenchman, for the letter was not directed. 
The Frenchman denied his knowing anything of the con- 
tents of the Letter or having received any Money or Cor- 
respondence with me, notwithstanding which, a Council of 
War was held and they deemed the French Man to be a 
double spy, but General Montiano would not suffer him to 
be executed, having been imployed by him : however, they 
imbarqued all their Troops,^ and halted under Jekyl, they 
also confined all the French on board and imbarked with 
such precipitation that they left behind them Cannon, &c., I 
and those dead of their wounds, unburied. The Cuba 

* St. Simon's town was destroyed by the Spaniards prior to their evacuation of the 
island. To a writer in the Loudon Magazine for 1745,t who made his observations in the 
early part of 1743, are we indebted for the following notice of this place : — "At the South 
Point of this Island of St. Simon, are the Ruins of the Town of St. Simons destroyed by the 
Spaniards at their Invasion. By the remaining Vestiges it must have been a very uniform 
Place ; and the Situation is quite charming, tho" it now makes one melancholy to see 
such a Desolation in so new a Country. The only Building they left standing was one 
House which they had consecrated for a (Jhapel. How different the Proceedings of the 
more generous English even in their Parts AAi-ho never leave behind them such direful 
Remembrances : but here religious Fury goes Hand in Hand with Conquest, resolv'd to 
ruin whom they can't convert. The Fort has some Remains still, and seems to have been 
no extraordinary affair : tho' no Place was ever better defended, and the Enemies seem, 
by thoir Works and Intrenchments to have thought themselves sure of keeping the Town, 
but found themselves wofully mistaken. Down the Beach to the westward is a Look-out 
of Tappy-work which is a very good Mark for standing over the Bar into the Harbour : 
and on the opposite Point of Jekyl Island is a very remarkable Hammock of Trees much 
taken notice of by Seamen on the same Account. Somewhat lower and more Northerly is 
the Plantation call'd Gascoign's which xinderwent the same Fate with St. Simons. An \ 
Officer's Command is station'd at South Point, who disposes his Gentries so as to discover I 
Vessels some Leagues at Sea, and upon any such Discovery an Alarm-Gun is flr'd, and an 
Horseman sent up mth Notice to the Head-Quarters which is nine miles from this Place. 
If they appear to make for the Harbour, a perpendicular mounted Gun is fir'd as a Signal, 
which, by the Ascent of the Smoke is a Direction to a Ship a long Way in the Offing, and 
is a most lucky Contrivance. The road from hence to Frederica is cut through the 
Woods, and through the Marshes rais'd upon a Causeway." 

t Page 549. 

l^KEDERiCA. 113 

Squadron stood out to sea to the number of 20 sail : Gen- 
eral Montiano with the Augustine Squadron returned to 
Cumberland Sound, having burnt Captain Horton's houses, 
&G., on Jekyll. I, with our boats, followed him. I dis- 
covered a great many sail under Fort St. Andrew, of which 
eight appeared to me plain, but being too strong for me 
to attack, I sent the Scout Boats back. 

" I went" with my own Cutter and landed a man on Cum- 
berland who carried a letter from me to Lieut. Stuart at Fort 
William with orders to defend himself to the last extremity. 
" Having discovered our Boats & believing we had landed 
Indians in the night they set sail with great haste, in so 
much that not having time to imbarque, they killed 40 
horses which they had taken there, and burnt the houses. 
The Galleys and small Craft to the number of fifteen went 
thro' the inland Water Passages. They attempted to land 
near Fort William, but were repulsed by the Rangers ; 
they then attacked it with Cannon and small Arms from 
the water for three Hours, but the place was so bravely 
defended by Lieut. Alexander Stuart that they were re- 
pulsed and ran out to sea where twelve other sail of 
Spanish vessells had lain at anchor without the Barr during 
the Attack without stirring, but the Galleys being chased 
out, they hoisted all the sails they could and stood to the 
Southward. I followed them with the Boats to Fort Wil- 
liam, and from thence sent out the Rangers and some 
Boats who followed them to Saint Johns, but they went 
off rowing and sailing to St. Augustine. 

" After the news of their defeat in the Grenadier Sa- 
vannah arrived at Charles Town, the Men of War and 
a number of Carolina People raised in a hurry set out 

* July 16tli. 


and came off this Barr after the Spaniards had been 
chased quite out of this Colony, where they dismissed the 
Carohna vessels, and Capt. Hardy promised in his Let- 
ters to cruise off St. Augustine. 

"We have returned thanks to God for our deliverance, 
have set all the hands I possibly could to work upon the 
Fortifications, and have sent to the Northward to raise 
men ready to form another Battalion against His Majes- 
ty's Orders shall arrive for that purpose. I have retained 
Thompson's ship, have sent for Cannon Shott, <fec., for Provi- 
sions and all kinds of stores since I expect the Enemy, who 
(tho' greatly terrified) lost but few men in comparison of 
their great numbers, as soon as they have recovered their 
fright will attack us with more caution and better discipline. 

"I hope His Majesty will approve the measures I have 
taken, and I must entreat Your Grace to lay my humble 
request before His Majesty that he would be graciously 
pleased to order Troops, Artillery and other Necessarys 
sufficient for the defence of this Frontier and the neigh- 
boring Provinces, or give such direction as His Majesty 
shall think proper, and I do not doubt but with a moderate 
support not only to be able to defend these Provinces, 
but also to dislodge the Enemy from St. Augustine if I 
have but the same numbers they had in this expedition."* 

* For furtliei' account of this memorable defence, see — 

Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. ii, pp. 340, 342. Loudon, 1748. 

McCall's History Cf Georgia, vol. i., pp. 17G, 190. Savannali, 1811. 

Hewitt's Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina 
and Georgia, vol. n., pp. 114, 119. London, 1779. i 

Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. r, pp. 180, 196. New York, 1847. I 

Harris' Memorials of Oglethorpe, pp. 250, 268. Boston, 1840. ' 

Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, pp. 299, 317. London, 1867. 

Spalding's Life of Oglethorpe, Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i, 
pp. 275, 284. Savannah, 1840. 

Ramsay's History of South Carolina, vol. i, pp. 144, 147. Chaileston, 1809. 

London Magazine, vol. xi, pp. 515, 516, 568. 

Gentleman's Magazine for 1742, vol. xii, pp. 494, 496, 550, 561, 693, 694. 

Gentleman's Magazine for 1743, vol. xiii, pp. 84, 638, 639. 



That a small force of between six and seven hundred 
men, assisted by a few weak vessels, should have put to 
flight an army of nearly five thousand Spanish troops, 
supported by a powerful fleet, and amply equipped for 
the expedition, seems almost incapable of explanation."" 
General Oglethorpe's bravery and dash, the timidity of the 
invaders, coupled with the dissentions which arose in their 
ranks, and the apprehensions caused by the French letter, 
furnish the only plausible explanation of the victory. 
Whitefield's commentary was : " The deliverance of Georgia 
from the Spaniards is such as cannot be paralleled but 
by some instances out of the Old Testament." The defeat 
of so formidable an expedition by such a handful of men 
was a matter of astonishment to all. Had Don Manuel 
de Monteano pushed his forces vigorously forward, the 
stoutest resistance offered along his short line of march 
and from the walls of the town would have been ineffectual 
for the salvation of Frederica. Against the contingency of 
an evacuation of this strong-hold Oglethorpe had provided, 

*The following estimate was made of tlie forces engaged : 

Spanish Troops. 

One regiment of dismounted Dragoons 400 

Havanna Regiment . 500 

Havanna Militia 1,000 

Regiment of Artillery 400 

Florida Militia 400 

Battalion of Mulattoes 300 

Black Regiment 400 

Indians 90 

Marines 600 

Seamen 1,000 

Total 5,090 


His Regiment 472 

Company of Rangers 30 

Highlanders 50 

Armed Militia 40 

Indians 60 

Total 652 

See McCall's History of Georgia, vol i, p. 196. Savannah, 1811. 



as best lie could, by a concentration of boats in wliicli to 
transport the garrison to Darien"^ by way of the cut 
previously made through General's island. This necessity, 
however, was fortunately never laid upon him. If the 
naval forces at Charleston had responded to his requisitions, 
a considerable portion of the Spanish fleet might have 
been captured. Oglethorpe's success in his military opera- 
tions may be explained by the fact that he constantly acted 
on the offensive. He was never content to grant any peace 
to an enemy who was within striking distance. The temerity 
and persistency of his attacks inspired his followers, and 
impressed his antagonist with the belief that the arm 
delivering the blow was stronger than it really was. 

The memory of this defense of St. Simons island 
and the southern frontier is one of the proudest in the 
annals of Georgia. Thus was the existence of the Col- 
ony perpetuated. Thus was hurled back in wrath and 
mortification a powerful army of invasion whose avowed 
object was to show no quarter,t but crush out of ex- 

* Of the condition of this town in 1743 we find the following account in the London 
Magazine for 1745 :t "Our first Stage we made New Inverness, or the DsLrien, on the Conti- 
nent near 20 miles from Frederica ; which is a Settlement of Highlanders living and dress- 
ing in their own Country Fashion, very happily and contentedly. There is an Indepen- 
dent Company of Foot of them, consisting of 70 men who have been of good service. The 
Town is regularly laid ont, and built of "Wood mostly, divided into Streets and Squares ; 
before the Town is the Parade, and a Fort not yet finish'd. It is situated upon a very 
high Bluff, or Point of Land, from whence, Avith a few cannon, they can scour the River, 
otherwise it is surrounded by Pine-barrens, and Woods, and there is a Rout by Land to 
Savannah and Fort Argyle, which is statedly reconnoitred by a Troop of Highland Rangers 
who do duty here. The Company and Troop, armed in the Highland manner, make an 
extreme good appearance under arms. The whole Settlement may be said to be a brave 
and indtistrious People ; but were more numerous, planted more, and raised more cattle 
before the Invasion, with which they drove a good Trade to the Southward ; but Things 
seem daily mending with them. They are forc'd to keep a very good G-uard in this 
Place, it lies so open to the Insults of the French and Spanish Indians, who once or twice 
have shewn Stragiers some very bloody Tricks." t Page 551. 

t Samuel Cloake, — who was a prisoner on board the "Pretty Nancy " taken by the 
Spaniards from, the English, and fitted out for the invasion of G-eorgia, — made oath that 
during the time they lay off the bar the Spaniards often " whetted their swords and held 
their knives to this deponent's and other English prisoners' throats, saying they would 
cut the throats of those they should take at Georgia." 

Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, pp. 342, 343. London, 1748. 



isteiice tlie Euglisli colonies. Had success attended the 
demonstration against Frederica, the Enemy would 
have advanced upon the more northern strong-holds. 
Appreciating this, and deeply sensible of their great 
obligations to General Oglethorpe for the deliver- 
ance vouchsafed at his hands, the Governors of New 
York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and 
North Carolina, ^'' addressed special letters to him " thank- 
ing him for the invaluable services he had rendered to 
the British- American Provinces ; congratulating him upon 
his success and the great renown he had acquired ; and 
expressing their gratitude to the Supreme Governor of 
Nations for placing the destiny of the southern colo- 
nies under the direction of a General so well qualified 
for the important trust." 

Upon the disappearance of the Spanish forces Ogle- 
thorpe at once bent his energies to strengthening the 
fortifications at Frederica and repairing the damages 
which had been sustained by the southern forts. For 
a long time he seems to have counted upon a return 
of the expedition, and could not bring his mind to believe 
that the enterprise upon which so much preparation and 
money had been expended would be thus hastily and 
almost causelessly abandoned. Within a few months 
the works upon St. Simons, Jekyll, and Cumberland 
islands were stronger than ever. What those additional 
defensive works at Frederica were, we shall shortly see. 
Not content with having repulsed the Spaniards in 
their effort to crush the colony, General Oglethorpe was 
soon again engaged in " carrying the war into Africa." 

* The governor of South Carolina did not unite in these congratulations and thanks ; 
but the people of Port Eoyal did, much to his chagrin. 



Finding the enemy so strong in St. Augustine that they 
defeated all the parties of Indians he sent against 
them, ascertaining that a large detachment was march- 
ing towards the river St. Mattheo, and concluding that 
this was a movement to extend their quarters so as 
to be prepared for the proper location and accommo- 
dation of reinforcements expected from Havana in the 
spring, taking with him a considerable body of Creek 
warriors, a detachment fi'om the Highland company of 
Eangers, and a portion of his regiment, Oglethorpe 
landed by night in Florida in March, 1743, and, mov- 
ing rapidly, drove the enemy, with loss, within the 
lines of St. Augustine. Having disposed his command 
in ambush, the General, with a small party, advanced 
within sight of the town, intending to skirmish and 
draw the garrison out. The enemy declined to leave 
their fortifications f- and the English, being too weak to 
attack, and having compelled the Spaniards to abandon 
their advanced posts in Florida, returned, having per- 
formed the extraordinary march of ninety-six miles in 
four days.t This was the last expedition led by the 
General against the Spaniards. J 

Still persuaded that the attack upon Frederica would 
be renewed at an early day, he continued to place the 

* In tlie language of General Oglethorpe, " they were so rneeJc there was no provoking them." 

+ See General Oglethorpe's letters of the 12th and 21st of March, 1743. Collections of . 
the Georgia Historical Society, vol. m, pp. 149, 151. Savannah, 1873. 
London Magazine for 1743, vol. xii, pp. 356, 357. 
London Gazette, July 9, 1743. 

+ This demonstration had the eftect of restraining the Enemy within the lines of St. 
Augustine; and the active cruizing of the English Guard Schooner and Scout Boats held 
in check the privateers which were in the habit of annoying the navigation to the south- 
ward. " In fine," writes a Charles-Towu merchant to his correspondent in London, un- 
der date August 10, 1743, " Georgia is a Gibraltar to this Province and North America, how- 
ever insignificant some People may make it." 

London Magazine for 1743, vol. xn, p. 567. 


frontier in the best possible state of defense. Until he 
left Georgia on the 23d of July, 1743, never again to 
return, he resided at his cottage on St. Simons island. 
Of all the places planted and nurtured by him, none 
so warmly enlisted his energies and engaged his constant 
solicitude as the fortified town at the mouth of the 

Upon the General's departure, William Stephens 
was left as Deputy General of the Colony, and Major 
Horton, as military commander at Frederica. With the 
civil matters of the province Major Horton had no 
concern except where his assistance, as commander in 
chief of the military, was occasionally invoked to enforce 
the measures of the president and council. In such 
instances he acted with calmness and humanity, and se- 
cured the respect and esteem of the better class of the 

On the 22nd of March, 1743, the magazine at Fred- 
erica was blown up, to the general alarm and regret 
of the inhabitants. Although it contained, at the time, 
three thousand bombs, so well bedded were they, but 
little damage occurred. A vagabond Irishman was sus- 
pected of having fired the magazine.^" 

We have two descriptions of Frederica in 1743, — the 
period of its greatest prosperity and importance, — which 
we make no apology for transcribing. 

The first is from the lips of a captain conversant 
with the appearance and condition of the town. 

Captain John Mac Clellan, who had left Georgia 
on the 31st of January, 1743, on his arrival in England 

* See McCall's Georgia, vol. i, p. 203. Savannah, 1811. 
Gentleman's Magazine for llii, vol. xiv, p. 393. 
London Magazine tor 174i, vol. xiii, p. 359. 


reported the colonists busily engaged in placing them- 
selves in the best posture of defense, in anticipation of 
a second attack from the Spaniards ; that Fort William 
had been fortified anew with brick work, and that 
" great numbers of Men were employ' d in compleating 
the Fortifications at Frederica, the Walls whereof are 
judged strong enough to be Proof against Eighteen- 
Pound Shot ;" that two towers, — one at each corner of 
the town walls, — capable of holding one hundred men 
each, and designed to protect the flanks by means of small 
arms, had been erected; that the men were "full of spirits 
and unanimous to make a vigorous Defence to the last 
Drop of Blood;" that General Oglethorpe had been rein- 
forced by two hundred men fi'om Virginia, raised by Major 
Heron, many of whom were disciplined soldiers from 
Colonel Gouge's late regiment, and that thirty horsemen 
were on their way to Georgia to "recruit the Rangers."^' 

The second is from the pen of an intelligent traveler, 
who made his observations early in 1743. It reads as 
follows : 

" Frederica, on the Island of St. Simon, the chief Town 
in the Southernmost Part of the Colony of Georgia, is 
nearly in Lat: 31° 15^ North. It stands on an Eminence, 
if consider'd with regard to the Marshes before it, upon 
a Branch of the famous Biver AlatamaJia, which washes 
the West side of this agreeable little Island, and, after 
several Windings, disembogues itself into the Sea at JeJcyl 
Sound. It forms a kind of a Bay before the Town, and 
is navigable for Vessels of the largest Burden, which may 
lie along the wharf in a secure and safe Harbour ; and 
may, upon Occasion, haul up to careen and refit, the Bot- 

■ London Magazine for 1743, vol. xn, p. 



torn being a soft oozy Clay, intermix' d with small Sand 
and Shells. The Town is defended by a pretty strong 
Fort of Tappy/'^ which has several 18 Pounders mounted 
on a Eavelin in its Front, and commands the River both 
upwards and downwards ; and is surrounded by a quad- 
rangular Rampart, with 4 Bastions, of Earth, well stock- 
aded and turfed, and a palisadoed Ditch which include 
also the King's Storehouses, (in which are kept the Arsenal, 
the Court of Justice, and Chapel) two large and spacious 
Buildings of Brick and Timber ; On the Rampart are 
mounted a considerable Quantity of Ordnance of several 
sizes. The Town is surrounded by a Rampart, with Flank- 
ers, of the same Thickness with that round the Fort, in 
Form of a Pentagon, and a dry Ditch ; and since the 
famous attempt of the Spaniards in July 1742,t at the 
N. E. and S. E. Angles are erected two strong cover'd 
pentagonal Bastions, capable of containing 100 men each, 
to scour the Flanks with Small Arms, and defended by a 
Number of Cannon ; At their Tops are Look-outs which 
command the Yiew of the Country and the River for 
many miles : The Roofs are shingled,:]: but so contriv'd 
as to be easily clear'd away, if incommodious in the De- 
fense of the Towers. The whole Circumference of the 
Town is about a Mile and a Half, including, within the 
Fortifications, the Camp for General Ogletliorpes Regiment, 
at the North Side of the Town ; the Parades on the West, 
and a small Wood to the South, which, is left for Conve- 

* A mixture of lime made of Ojster-shells, with Sand, Small Shells, &c., which, when 
harden'd, is as firm as Stone. I have observ'd prodigious Quantities of Salt Petre to 
issue from Walls of this Cement. 

tSee Lond: Mag: 1742, p. 401. 515, 516, 5G7. 

+ Shingles are split out of many Sorts of Wood, in the shape of Tiles, which, when they 
have been some Time expos'd to the Weather, appear of the Colour of Slate, and have a 
very pretty Look ; the Houses in America are mostly Shingled. 


niency of Fuel and Pasture, and is an excellent Blind to 
the Enemy in case of an Attack ; in it is a small Magazine 
of Powder. The Town has two Gates, call'd the Land- 
port, and the Water -port : next to the latter of which is 
the Guard-house, and underneath it the Prison for Malefac- 
tors, which is an handsome Building of Brick. At the 
North End are the Barracks, which is an extremely well 
contriv'd Building in Form of a Square, of Tap23y work, 
in which, at present, are kept the Hospital, and Spanish 
Prisoners of War : Near this was situated the Bomb Maga- 
zine which was blown up on March 22, 1744,^ with so 
surprizingly little Damage. t 

" The town is situated in a large Indian Field. To 
the East it has a very extensive Savannah (wherein is 
the Burial Place) thro' which is cut a Road to the 
other Side of the Island, which is bounded by Woods, 
save here and there some opening Glades into the 
Neighboring Savannah's and Marshes, which much elu- 
cidate the Pleasure of looking. Down this Road are 
several very commodious Plantations, particularly the 
very agreeable one of Capt. Demery, and that of Mr. 
Hawhins. Pre-eminently appears Mr. Oglethorpe s Settle- 
ment, which, at Distance, looks like a neat Country 
Village, where the consequences of all the various In- 
dustries of an ELtropean Farm are seen. The Master 
of it has shewn what Application and unbated Dili- 
gence ma}^ effect in this Country. At the Extremity 
of the Road is a small Yillage, call'd the German Vil- 
lage, inhabited by several Families of Saltzhurghers, who 
plant and fish for their Subsistence. On the River Side 

* See Lond. Mag: 1744. p. 359. 

1 1 have been told tliat in this Explosion near 3,000 Bombs burst, which, had they not 
been well bedded, wonld have done mnch Mischief. 


one has tlie Prospect of a large Circuit of Mcirslies, 
terminated by the Woods on the Continent, in Form 
Hke an Amphitheatre, and interspers'd with the Mean- 
ders of abundance of Creeks, form'd from the aforesaid 
Eiver. At a Distance may be seen the white Post at 
Bachelor s Redoubt, also on the Main, where is kept a 
good Look-out of Rangers. To the North are Marshes, 
and a small Wood, at the Western Extremity of which 
are the Plantations of the late Capt. Beshrisay, and 
some others of less note; together with a Look-out 
wherein a Corporal's Guard is stationed, and reliev'd 
weekly, called Pikes, on the Bank of the River, from 
whence they can see Vessels a great way to the North- 
ward. On the South is a Wood, which is, however, so 
far clear'd as to discover the Approach of an Enemy 
at a great Distance ; within it, to the Eastward, is the 
Plantation of Capt. Dunhar : and to the Westward a 
Corporal's Look-out. The Town is divided into several 
spacious Streets, along whose sides are planted Orange 
Trees,^ which, in some Time, will have a very pretty 
Effect on the View, and will render the Town pleasingly 
shady. Some Houses are built entirely of Brick, some 
of Brick and Wood, some few of Tappy-Work, but most 
of the meaner sort, of Wood only. The Camp is also 
divided into several Streets, distinguished by the names 
of the Captains of the several Companies of the Regi- 
ment ; and the Huts are built generally of Clap-boards 
and Palmetto's, and are each of them capable to con- 
tain a Family, or Half a Dozen Single men. Here 

* The luliabitants begin to plant this charming Friiit very much, and 'tis to be hop'd 
will banish their numerous Peach Trees to their Country Settlements, which are Nurseries 
oiMusJceltos and other Vermin. The Season I was there, they had Oranges enough of their 
own Growth for Home Consumption. 


these brave Fellows live with the most laudable (Econ- 
omy ; and tho' most of them when off Duty, practise some 
Trade or Employment, they make as fine an Appearance 
upon the Parade, as any Regiment in the King's Service • 
and their exact Discipline does a great deal of Honour 
to their Officers ; They have a Market every Day ; The 
Inhabitants of the Town may be divided into Officers, 
Merchants, Store-Keepers, Artisans, and People in the 
Provincial Service ; and there are often, also, many So- 
journers fi'om the neighbouring Settlements, and from Neiv 
York, Philadelphia, and Carolina, on account of Trade. 
The Civil Government does not seem yet to be quite rightly 
settled by the Trustees, but is, at present, administered by 
three Magistrates, or Justices, assisted by a Recorder, Con- 
stables, and Tything Men. The Military is regulated as 
in all Garrison-Towns in the British Dominions. In short, 
the whole Town, and Country adjacent, are quite rurally 
charming, and the Improvements everywhere around are 
Footsteps of the greatest Skill and Industry imaginable, 
considering its late Settlement, and the Rubs it has so often 
met with ; and as it seems so necessary for the Barrier 
of our Colonies, I am in Hopes of, one Time, seeing it 
taken more Notice of than it is at present."^ 

For the ensuing few years, and during the retention of 
Oglethorpe's regiment on St. Simons island, but little 
change occurred in the condition of Frederica. It retained 
its importance as a military post, and was regarded as 
the safe guard of the Province against Spanish invasion. 
The expectations, if indeed any were seriously entertained, 

* This was written in tlie beginning of 1743. 
See London Magazine for 1745, vol. xiv, pp. 395, 396. 

Compare notice in " The North-American and the West-Indian Gazetteer." London, 


of elevating this town into commercial importance, were 
practically abandoned previous to the withdrawal of the 
troops. In fact, even before the existing difficulties with 
Spain were formally accommodated by treaty, and it 
became manifest that there would in all likelihood occur 
no further serious demonstrations along the southern 
frontier, the population of Frederica began to decrease. 

The home authorities, however, were loth to acknowl- 
edge its manifest tendency fco decadence, and for some 
time, by occasional reports and notices, endeavored to 
assure the public of the continued prosperity of a town 
which had attracted such special attention in connection 
with the progress and perils of the Colony of Georgia. 

An article having appeared in the " Daily Gazetteer " 
giving "a most scandalous and untrue account of the 
present state of the Colony of Georgia, particularly levelled 
at the Southern Part thereof (which is the Frontier against 
the French and Spaniards)" in justice to the public, William 
Thomson and John Lawrence, Jr., who had been trading 
vdtli the Colony for some years and who had left Georgia 
in June, 1747, on business calling them to England, united in 
a card to the editor of the London Magazine"^ in which 
they stated : " That instead of the false Representation 
in the said Gazetteer ' That only seven Houses were in the 
Town of Irederica,' the said Town has several Streets, in 
every one of which are many good Houses, some of Brick, 
some of Tappy (which is a Cement of Lime and Oyster 
Shells ;) That the High Street is planted with Orange 
Trees and has good Houses on both sides. That the Fort, 
besides other Buildings has two large Magazines, three 
Stories high, and sixty Feet long ; That there are Bar- 

* Volume XVI, p. iM. 


racks in the Town, on the North side, ninety Feet Square, 
built of Tappy, covered with Cypress Shingles, and a hand- 
some Tower over the Gateway of twenty Feet square ; 
That there are two Bastion Towers, of two stories each, 
in the Hollow of the Bastions, defended on the Outside 
with thick Earth-works, and capable of lodging great Num- 
bers of Soldiers, the two long Sides being nearly fifty Feet, 
and the short Sides twenty-five ; And that instead of the 
Inhabitants removing from thence, several Famihes were 
come and more coming from North Carolina to settle in 
Georgia, who will certainly establish themselves there unless 
they are prevented by any Fears which may arise from 
the Reduction of the Rangers and Vessels which have 
hitherto made that Frontier safe : That before the Bar- 
racks were finished, very good Clap-board Huts were built 
sufficient for the lodging of two Companies who do Duty 
at Frederica (with their Wives and Families) which by an 
Accident of Fire were lately burnt down ; since which others 
have been made for married Soldiers ; and the Soldiers 
have the Privilege of cutting Timber and building Houses 
for their Families, which many have done, and thrive very 
well, and we know the Soldiers are regularly paid and 
kindly treated. We also certify that there are several 
Farms which produce not only Indian Wheat and Potatoes, 
but English Wheat, Barley, and other Grain. In short, 
Provisions in general are plentiful, Yenison, Beef, Pork, at 
Two Pence Half-Penny per Pound, and sometimes under. 
Fish extremely cheap." 

Upon the confirmation of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle 
in April, 1748, most of the troops were withdrawm from 
St. Simons island and the fortifications soon began to 
fall into decav. 


FREDiiRICA. 127 

The Trustees having surrendered their charter, Captain 
John Reynolds was, in 1754, appointed by the King, 
Governor of Georgia, Avith the title of "Captain General 
and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Province of 
Georgia, and Vice-Admiral of the same." He entered 
upon his duties in October of that year, and early, the 
following Spring, made a tonr of inspection through the 
southern portion of the Province. Arriving at Frederica, 
he found the town "in ruins," the fortifications "decayed," 
and the " houses falling down." Twenty pieces of can- 
non were lying dismounted and "spoiled for want of care." 
The melancholy prospect was presented of " houses without 
inhabitants, barracks without soldiers, guns without car- 
riages, and streets grown over with weeds."" Fort Frederick 
was entirely dismantled. Not a gun was mounted, and 
neither powder nor ball could be found. Among his re- 
commendations for the defense of the Colony, the Gov- 
ernor suggested the construction of a work at Frederica 
"in the form of half a hexagon, nine hundred and sixty 
feet each, with two whole and two demi-bastions towards 
the land, and two demi-bastions and a citadel towards 
the sea, on which were to be placed fifty cannon manned 
by three hundred regulars." This fortification was never 
built, and no effort was made to repair the works then 
crumbling and abandoned. 

This dilapidation and neglect continued without any 
effort on the part of the Colonial authorities to check their 
annihilating influences. Frederica had now ceased to be 
a place of any note. In his report of the condition of the 
Province of Georgia, submitted to the Earl of Dartmouth on 

*A destructive fire had consumed nearly all the lioiises whicli time liad spared. 
See Stevens' History of G-eorgia, vol. i, p. 446. New York, 1847. 



the 20tli of December, 1773, Sir James Wright, then Gov- 
ernor of the Colony, represents Forfc Frederick at Frederica 
as "going to decay very fast." "There is still," — such is the 
language of the rej3ort, — "some Remains of good Tabby 
Walls, (fee, but there has been no men there since the 
Independent Company were broke in the Year 1767.""^ 

In March, 1774, William Bartram visited Frederica and 
St. Simons island and was most hospitably entertained 
by Mr. James Sj^alding who was there engaged in an ex- 
tensive trade with the Indian tribes of East Florida. Fol- 
lowing the old highway across the savannah, he devoted 
a day to exploring the island and was charmed with the 
magnificent forests of pines and oaks perfumed with the 
fragrant breath of the white lily and the sweet bay. The 
venerable hve-oaks still overshadowed the spacious avenue 
leading to the former seat of General Oglethorpe, but that 
distinguished gentleman was no longer there, and his quiet 
cottage had passed into the ownership of another. The 
dehghts of the woods and waters, the delicious breezes 
wafted from groves fiUed with birds of bright plumage 
and sweet voices, the commingled perfumes of the yellow 
jasmine, the lonicera, the audromeda and the azalea, and 
the solemn sound of the incoming surf were, in the re- 
collection of this happy traveller, associated with generous 
hospitahty, a plentiful repast of venison, and an agreeable 
" drink of honey and water strengthened by the addition 
of brandy." 

Although natui'e was as balmy, as attractive, and as 
beautiful as ever, Bartram was oppressed by the indica- 
tions of desolation which confronted him all over the island. 
He speaks of " vestiges oi plantations, ruins of costly build- 

* Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. ni, pp. 168, 169, Savannah, 1873. 


ings, and highways overgrown with forests." The fort he 
found entirely dilapidated, and nothing of the town remain- 
ing except ruins. From the crumbling walls of the deserted 
houses peach trees, figs, and pomegranates were growing.^ 
And so this brave town dwindled away into nothingness. 

The last detachment of troops stationed there consisted of 
ten Royal Americans ; but even these were withdrawn 
during the early part of the administration of Governor 

The rui3ture between Great Britain and her Colonies 
being imminent, the Council of Safety ordered all guns 
at Frederica to be secured, and they were used in for- 
tifying other points on the coast deemed of greater im- 
portance. During the progress of the expedition pro- 
jected from Sunbury, by Governor Gwinnett, against 
Florida, Colonel Elbert, who was in command, on Sun- 
day, the 11th of May, 1777, landed at Frederica "to air" 
his troops. The following entry occurs in his Order- 
Book : "Frederica was once a pretty little Town, as ap- 
pears by the Ruins, having been burned down some years 
since ; the Fort at this place, with a little expence, might 
be made defensible, and might, if properly garrisoned, 
be a means of protecting great part of our Southern Fron- 
tiers. There are about twelve men that bear arms here; 
in my opinion all Tories. Their Captain, Ditter, says 
otherwise of himself, and informed me that about 6 or 8 
of the inhabitants had lately gone to Florida for protec- 

By the provisions of the act of the 15th of March, 
1758,t dividing the Province into eight Parishes, " the 

* Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., pp. 55-60. London, 1792. 
t MS. Order-Book of Col. S. Elbert. 
+ Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 151. » 



town and district of Frederica, including the islands of 
Great and Little St. Simons and the adjacent islands," 
were declared a parish and named " St. James." Un- 
der the writs of election issued by Sir James Wright, 
Lachlan Mcintosh was returned as member for Frederica. 

On the 10th of August, 1777, some boats from a Brit- 
ish armed vessel lying in St. Andrews Sound landed 
cm. St. Simons island, and their crews captured and car- 
ried away Captain Arthur Carney, five citizens, several 
negroes, and as much household furniture as could be 
conveyed in the barges. Carney had been appointed to 
the captaincy of the fourth company in the first Conti- 
nental Battalion of Georgia troops. After his capture, he 
espoused the Royal cause and proved himself not only 
an active Tory but a great cattle thief. "^^ 

While General Eobert Howe was concentrating his 
forces on the Southern frontier of Georgia with a view 
to the invasion of Florida, Colonel Elbert, who was com- 
manding at Fort Howe, — the place of rendezvous, — 
achieved an exploit which imparts another distinct and 
gallant memory to the neglected settlements, " Where 
wild Altama murmurs to their woe." 

The details of the affair are thus narrated in a let- 
ter to General Howe : 

" Frederica, April 19th, 1778. 
" Dear General : 

"I have the happiness to inform you that about 10 
o'clock this forenoon, the brigantine Hinchinbrooke, the 
sloop Rebecca, and a prize brig, all struck the British 
tyrant's colors and surrendered to the American arms. 

" Having received intelligence that the above vessels 

* See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 131, 132. Savannah, 1811. 


were at this place, I put about three hundred men, by 
detachment from the troops under my command at Fort 
Howe, on board the three galleys, the Washington- 
Captain Hardy, — the Lee, — Captain Braddock, — and the 
Bulloch, — Captain Hutcher;— and a detachment of artil- 
lery with two field pieces, under Captain Young, I put 
on board a boat. With this httle army we embarked 
at Darien, and last evening effected a landing at a bluff 
about a mile below the town, leaving Colonel White on 
board the Lee, Captain Melvin on board the Washing- 
ton, and Lieutenant Petty on board the Bulloch, each 
with a sufficient party of troops. Immediately on land- 
ing I dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Ray and Major Rob- 
erts, with about one hundred men, who marched directly 
up to the town and made prisoners three marines and two 
sailors belonging to the Hinchinbrooke. 

"It being late, the galleys did not engage until this 
morning. You must imagine what my feelings were to 
see our three little men-of-war going on to the attack of 
these three vessels, who have spread terror on our coast, 
and who were drawn up in order of battle ; but the 
weight of our metal soon damped the courage of these 
heroes, who soon took to their boats ; and as many as 
could, abandoned the vessel with everything on board, 
of which we immediately took possession. What is ex- 
traordinary, we have not one man hurt. Captain Ellis, 
of the Hinchinbrooke, is drowned, and Captain Mow- 
bray, of the Rebecca, made his escape. As soon as I 
see Colonel White, who has not yet come to us with his 
prizes, I shall consult with him, the three other officers, 
and the comanding officers of the galleys, on the expe- 
diency of attacking the Galatea now lying at Jekyll." 



While Colonel Elbert was preparing to attack her, the 
Galatea made her escape to sea."^ This successful enter- 
prize encouraged the troops at Fort Howe, who were in 
a very dispirited mood. 

Upon his retreat, by water, from Sunbury in Decem- 
ber, 1778, Fuser left the regular troops of his expedition 
at Frederica, with instructions to repair the old military 
works at that point. These orders were only partially ob- 
served, and the force was soon withdrawn. 

During the continuance of the Revolutionary war St. 
Simons island, in common with other isolated localities 
along the Georgia coast, suffered from privateers and 
armed parties who pillaged the houses of the inhabitants 
and led captive negroes and domestic animals. Similar 
annoyances and losses were encountered during the war 
of 1812-1815. So ruthless had been the spoliations and 
devastations by the British troops during the progress of 
the Revolution, that upon its termination but little re- 
mained of Frederica save the sites of burnt houses and 
heaps of ruin. The town had almost entirely disappeared. 
Subsequent attempts to revive it were feeble and unsuc- 
cessful. Of the State legislation with regard to Frederica, 
the following synopsis may not be deemed inappropriate : 

On the 17th of December, 1792, James Spalding, John 
Braddock, Raymond Demere, John Palmer, John Bur- 
nett, John Piles, Moses Burnett, Samuel Wright, and 
William Williams were appointed Commissioners of the 
towns and commons of Frederica and Brunswick. They 
were directed, after three months' published notice, to 

*See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. n, pp. 137-139. Savannah, 1811. 

Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 161-162. Philadelpliia, 1859. 
White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 468. New York, 1855. 


cause surveys to be made of those towns, according to 
their original plans, and to have the same recorded in 
the Surveyor General's office, and in the office of the 
Surveyor of Glynn county. Any vacant lots, except such 
as were originally reserved for public uses, were then to 
be sold upon four weeks' public notice ; and the proceeds 
arising from such sales, after deducting the necessary 
expense of survey, devoted to the building and support 
of an Academy in Glynn County.'^ 

In February, 1796, special Commissioners were named 
for the town of Frederica. They were John Cooper, Wil- 
liam Mcintosh, James Harrison, James Moore, and Wil- 
liam Clubbs. It was made their duty to lay off the 
town, as nearly as practicable, according to its original 
plan, cause the streets to be opened, the lots to be 
plainly marked or staked off, the commons to be re- 
surveyed, and an accurate map prepared and recorded 
in the Surveyor General's office within two months 
after the passage of the act. The survey of the town 
having been completed, the Commissioners were required, 
by notice in one of the public gazettes of the State, to 
call upon the owners and holders of lots to make due 
return thereof to the Commissioners within nine months, 
and pay the sum of one dollar per lot in defrayal of the 
cost of the survey. 

All lots not returned within the prescribed period were, 
after six weeks public advertisement, to be sold to the 
highest bidder, — one half of the purchase money to be paid 
in cash and the remainder in twelve months thereafter ; — 
the deferred payment being secured by bond with mortgage 
on the premises purchased. The proceeds of such sales, 

* Watkins' Digest, p. 470. 


after defraying the expences incurred in laying off the 
town and commons, were to be applied to the support of 
an academy or seminary of learning in Glynn County. 

Any person attempting to run up or appropriate any 
part of the town common was declared liable to a fine of 
five hundred dollars, to be recovered in the Superior Court 
of Glynn County by the Commissioners or any inhabitant 
or lot owner in the town ; — -one half the fine to enure to 
the benefit of the academy, and the other half to go to 
the party suing for the same. 

All surveys previously made, and grants surreptitiously 
obtained, were declared nuU and void, and any person in 
possession by virtue of such survey or grant was liable to 
the fine above mentioned, to be recovered in the manner 

In 1801 Frederica is mentioned by Sibbald as " a pleas- 
antly situated town on the island of St. Simons, latitude 
31° 15^ North," but he gives no statistics either of its popu- 
lation or commerce. t 

By an act assented to November 26th, 1802,J — the front 
range of lots in the town of Frederica being "too distant 
from the water for the convenient storage or shipping of 
produce, or the landing of goods imported to that place," — 
the Commissioners were empowered "to cause a range of 
lots to be laid off in front of said town, commencing at 
low water mark, and running back so far as to leave a street 
eighty feet between the present front range of lots and 
those to be laid off." 

These new lots were to be sold at public outcry upon 

* Watkins' Digest, pp. 598, 599. 

t "Notes and Observations on the Pine Lands of Georgia," &c. Augusta, 1801. 

t Clayton's Digest, p. 63. 


sixty days' notice, and the moneys realized upon such sale^ 
after defraying the expences of the survey, were to be 
paid over to the Commissioners of the Academy of Glynn 
county to be by them expended for the benefit of that 

Two correct plans of these water lots were to be prepared 
and certified by the surveyor, one to be transmitted by 
the Commissioners to the Surveyor General for record in 
his office, and the other to be delivered to the County 
Surveyor of Glynn county to be by him recorded in his 

On the 18th of November, 1814,^ the Commissioners of 
the towns of Brunswick and Frederica were authorized 
to leyj a tax upon the lots in those towns, whether im- 
proved or unimproved, and pay over the moneys thus raised 
to the Justices of the Inferior Court of Glynn county 
for the purpose of erecting a Court House and Jail. To 
the same object was to be appHed one-fourth of the future 
rents of the town commons. 

All efforts to revivify the dead town, to perpetuate some- 
thing like a corporate existence, to reahze a revenue by 
special taxation of abandoned premises, to maintain a 
semblance of public streets, commons, and private lots, 
to clothe water fronts with the dignity of commercial 
wharves, and transmit the physical impressions of the older 
days, proved utterly futile. t Frederica lost its importance 
when it ceased to be the strong-hold of the southern fron- 
tier. Its mission was accomplished when the Spaniard 
no longer threatened. Its doom was pronounced in the 

* Lamar's Digest, pp. 902, 978. 

t Alluding to Frederica, in 1829, Sherwoodt says : " The Fort is gone to decay, but tliere 
are ten houses in the village." 
t Gazetteer of Georgia, p. 111. 


hour of its triumpli. Upon the withdrawal of Oglethorpe's 
regiment its decadence began, and ceased not until its 
fort became a white ruin, its public parade a pasture ground, 
and its streets and gardens a cotton field.^ 
Omnia dehentur morti. 

* Frances Anne Kemble, who visited Frederica in the spring of 1839, thus records her 
impressions of the deserted spot : " This Frederica is a very strange place ; it was once a 
town, — tlie. town, the metropolis of the island. The English, when they landed on the 
coast of Georgia in the war, destroyed this tiny place, and it has never been built iip 
again. Mrs. A.'s and one other house, are the only dwellings that remain in this curious 
wilderness of dismantled crumbling gray walls compassionately cloaked with a thousand 
profuse and graceful creepers. These are the only ruins, properly so called, except those 
of Fort Putnam, that I have ever seen in this land of contemptuous youth. I hailed 
these picturesque groups and masses with the feelings of a Europ.ean, to whom ruins are 
like a sort of relations. In my country, ruins are like a minor chord in music: here they 
are like a discord ; they are not the relics of time, but the results of violence ; they re- 
call no valuable memories of a remote past, and are mere encumbrances to the busy 
present. Evidently they are out of place in America except on St. Simon's island, between 
this savage selvage of civilization and the great Atlantic deep. These heaps of rubbish 
and roses would have made the fortune of a sketcher ; but I imagine the snakes have it 
all to themselves here, and are undisturbed by camp-stools, white umbrellas, and ejacula- 
tory young ladies." 

Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation, &c., p. 285. New York, 1863. 


On a creek or branch of the Savannah, distant some 
three miles from its confluence with that riyer, and 
about fifteen miles above the town of Savannah, the vil- 
lage of Abercorn was located in 1733. Its original set- 
tlement consisted of ten families. The plan of the town 
embraced twelve lots, ^dth two trust lots in addition, — 
one on either extremity. Old Ebenezer was ten miles 
to the west ; and four miles below the mouth of Aber- 
corn creek, was Joseph's Town, where two Scotch gen- 
tlemen had selected plantations on the right bank of the 
Savannah. Journeying towards Savannah, in the early 
days of the Colony, the visitor would encounter suc- 
cessively Sir Francis Bathurst's plantation, Walter Au- 
gustin's settlement. Captain Williams' plantation, Mrs. 
Matthews' place, the Indian School -house Irene, the 
Horse Quarter, and the Indian lands reserved just out- 
side the limits of Yamacraw. A strange fatality attend- 
ed all these early attempts at colonization. Born of the 
subjugation of the forests, were malarial fevers and fluxes 
which engendered lassitude and death. Short lived were 
these httle settlements, and it was only upon the intro- 
duction of slave labor that these plantations bordering 
upon the Savannah became permanent and productive. 
The white men who strove to bring them into a state 
of cultivation failed in the effort and quickly passed 
away. Others, who endeavored to complete their labors, 
encountered similar misfortune and disappointment. 



The ten families who were assigned to Abercorn in 
1733 were all gone in 1737. That year Mr. John Bro- 
die, with tw^elye servants, occupied the settlement ; but, 
after three years, he abandoned the place, leading its 
improvements to ruin and decay. Most of the thirty servants 
who cultivated the lands of the Scotch gentlemen at 
Joseph's Town died, and that plantation lapsed into neglect. 

The Saltzburgers who came to Georgia under the conduct ■ 
of Baron Yon Reck and the Rev'd Mr. Bolzius, in passing 
from Savannah to Old Ebenezer, w^ere sheltered and re- 
freshed at Abercorn. To that place their baggage was 
brought by water, and for some time all their supplies were 
delivered at that point whence they w^ere carried, at much 
pains, up Ebenezer creek and through the woods. Before 
long, however, a road was cut from Abercorn to Old Ebenezer 
which facilitated the transportation. While at Abercorn the 
Saltzburgers suffered much fi^om affections of the bow^els. 

Various efforts were made by the Trustees to increase 
the population and ensure the prosperity of Abercorn, — 
which w^as regarded as a convenient point for communi- 
cating with the Carolina settlements on the Savannah 
river; — but they all eventuated in disappointment. Such 
of the colonists as were sent there from time to time grew 
sick and tired of the abode, took no interest in its advance- 
ment, and abandoned it upon the earliest opportunity. The 
little life which this small place enjoyed was insignificant 
and without moment in the history of the Colony. 

In December, 1739, Mr. Stephens visited the town in 
company with Mr. Jones, to inspect a large ferry-boat 
which, in obedience to General Oglethorpe's orders, had 
been there constructed by one Bunyon, — a boat-builder by 
trade, and an inhabitant of the town. This boat was ca- 


pable of transporting nine or ten horses at a time, and 
was intended to ply between Abercorn and Palacliocolas. 
In perpetuating bis impressions of the place Mr. Stephens 
says : "As there was no Place in the whole Province, of the 
like Allotment of fifty acres each, which in my eye seemed 
so desirable, being a most pleasant Situation on the Banks 
of such a Eiver, with as good Land belonging to each Lot, 
as is readily to be. found in most Parts of the Province ; I 
never saw it but with Eegret, that there never yet had been 
a number of Settlers there deserving it ; but generally they 
happened to be loose, idle People, who after some short 
Abode, wandered elsewhere and left it : * "^ ^ and there 
are at present five Families only remaining there, nor has 
there often been more at one Time. As the Trust-Lands 
seem to be now in some better way of cultivating by their 
own Servants, than hitherto ; I proposed it to Mr. Jones 
to send down a few Gerynan families to work on the Trust- 
Lots there ; which, by helping to fill the Place, very prob- 
ably might induce others the sooner to occupy Lands there 
also : He agreed with me in Opinion, and said he would 
write of it to the General."- 

It is very questionable whether this opinion of Mr. 
Stephens, — formed during the winter, — of the desirableness 
of this locality, would have been confirmed by a residence 
there amid the heats and miasmatic influences of the summer 
and fall. Some Germans did settle in the neighborhood 
and cultivate the soil, but all efforts to promote the pros- 
perity of the \T.llage and elevate it into the dignity of a 
town utterly failed. Like Joseph's Town and Westbrook, 
Abercorn is little more than a name in the history of the 
Colony. In the end it passed into the hands of two English 

* A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, &c., vol. ii, pp. 215, 216. London, 174:2. 


gentlemen wlio converted the village into a plantation 
cultivated with slave labor. So it continued under various 
owners until, bv the result of the civil war, the negro has 
been liberated, and the fortunes of this region have become 
more unpromising than ever before. 

After the capture of Savannah in December, 1778, Colonel 
Campbell advanced a strong force to this place as a con- 
venient base for future operations against the interior of 
the State ; and hence, in 1779, did a British detachment 
move, crossing over to Purysburg and attempting to surprise 
General Moultrie at Black-swam]D. 

The town had so entirely faded fi-om the face of the 
earth that its location is not indicated on that admirable 
map of South Carolina and Georgia, published by William 
Faden at Charing Cross in 1780 : — and the only mention 
made by White is as follows : " Abercorn, sixteen miles from 
Savannah, was a noted place in the early settlement of Geor- 
gia. No memorial of its former condition can now be seen." 

Savannah, increasing her borders, practically claims as 
part of herself the Indian lands opposite the northern end 
of Hutchinson island. Of the Horse Quarter nothing 
remains. Joseph's Town long ago lost its identity ; and 
Abercorn, New Ebenezer, Purisburg, and Palachocolas, have, 
within the recollection of more than one generation, been 
known simply as boat-landings on the water-highway be- 
tween Savannah and Augusta.^ 

* Tor notices of Abercorn, see — 

"An Extract of the Journals of Mr. Commissary Von Beck, &c., and of the Reverend 
Mr. Bolzius," pp. 18, 20, 51, 66, 69. London, 1734. 

"An Accoimt Shewing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia, in America," &c., p. 35. 
London^ 1741. 
Stephens' " Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia," &:c., vol. i, p. 230. Vol. n, pp. 215, 
216. London, 1742. 

"An Extract of the Rev. Mr. John Wesley's Journal," &c. p. 60. Bristol, n. d. 

"A State of the Province of Georgia, attested upon oath," &c., p. 5. London, 1742. 

" A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia," &c., by Tailfer, Ander- 
son, and Douglas, p. 108. Charles-Town, 1741. 


e/arcs^ o/^ ify" c/o^y?^. 

JHan ofi^ Jowm of (Sun^il^ ^_ Coj^/ainrnf 3 ^3 O feed m,^?7^^J}cm-tAo;CA /ocJgi 



On the 23rd of January, 1734, Mr. Oglethorpe, accom- 
panied by Captain Ferguson and sixteen attendants, — 
inchiding two Indians, — set out from Savannah in an 
open row-boat, followed by a yawl carrying provisions 
and ammunition, upon an exploratory expedition to the 
Southern frontiers of Georgia/^ His course lay through 
the inner passages, and was pursued as far as St Simons 
island. For the protection of the Colony it was then 
determined to form a military station and settlement 
near the mouth of the Alatamaha ; and, — as an outpost 
and barrier against Spanish invasion, — to erect a strong 
fort on the high bluff on the western side of St. Simons 
island. These sites were shortly afterwards occupied and 
fortified, and were respectively named New Inverness and 
Frederica. It was during this reconnoissance that the 
eyes of the Founder of Georgia first rested upon that 
bold and beautiful bluff which, overlooking the placid 
waters of Midway river and the intervening low-lying 
salt marshes, descries in the distance the green woods of 
Bermuda island, the dim outline of the southern point 
of Ossabaw, and, across the sound, the white shores of 
St. Catherine. Although formal session had been made 
by the Lower Creeks of all lands along the sea-coast 

* See Memoir of General James Oglethorpe by Eobert Wright, p. 74. London, 1857. 


from the Savannali to the Alatamaha river, extending 
westward as high as the tide flowed, and inchiding all 
islands except a few which the Indians specially reserved 
for the purposes of hunting, fishing, and bathing, no En- 
glish settlements had, at that early day, been formed 
south of the Great Ogeechee river. Fort Argyle, — gar- 
risoned by Captain McPherson and his troop of Kan- 
gers, and commanding the passes by which the Indians 
during the late wars were accustomed to invade Caro- 
lina, — was then the only military post of any conse- 
quence in the direction of the Spaniards. From this 
nameless bluff the Aborigines had not then removed, and 
their canoes might be seen passing and repassing to and 
from Hussoope, [Ossabaw], and Cowleggee, [St. Cath- 
arine], islands and the main. To the quiet woods and 
waters of this semi-tropical region the English were 
strangers. The Bermuda grass which, at a later period, 
so completely covered Sunbury -bluff, did not then ap- 
pear, but magnificent live oaks, in full grown stature and 
solemn mien, crowned the high-ground even to the very 
verge where the tide Idssed the shore. Cedars, * festoon- 
ed 's\dth vines, over hung the waters. The magnoHa 
grandifiora, — queen of the forest, — excited on every hand 
the admiration of the early visitor. The sweet-scented 
myrtle, the tall pine, the odoriferous bay, and other indig- 
enous trees lent theii' charms to a spot whose primal 
beauty had encountered no change at the hand of man. 
The woods were resonant with the songs of birds, whose 
bright plumage vied in coloring with the native fiowers 
which gladdened the eye and gave gentle odors to the 
ambient air. Fishes abounded in the waters, and game 
on the land. Cool sea-breezes tempered the heat of sum- 


mer, and the rigor of cold was unknown in the depth of 
winter. It was a gentle, attractive place, — this bold bluff, — 
as it came from the hand of Nature. Some scene like 
this did the Poet Waller have in view as he sang : 

" Heav'n sure has kept this spot of earth unciirst, 
To show how all things were created first." ^ 

By a certain grant under the great seal of the Province 
of Georgia, bearing date the 4th of October, 1757, his 
Majesty George II conveyed to Mark Carr, his heirs and 
assigns forever, in free and common socage, " All that 
tract of land containing five hundred acres, situate and 
being in the District of Midway in the Province of Geor- 
gia, bounded on the east by the Midway river, on the 
west by land of Thomas Carr, on the south by vacant 
land, and on aU other sides by marshes of the said river." 

The grantee of these lands, which embraced the site of 
the future town of Sunbury, had been for some twenty 
years a man of means and of mark in the Colony of Geor- 
gia. In 1741 he had been sent by General Oglethorpe 
to Virginia to raise recruits for the Colony.^ In his last 
will and testament, dated June 8th, 1767, and proven be- 
fore his Excellency Sir James Wright on the the 4th of 
December of the same year. Captain Carr describes him- 
self as being " of the Parish of St. Patrick in the Province 
of Georgia, Esquire." He owned lots in the town of 
Frederica, an island on the north side of Midway river, a 
tract of land on the main fronting that island, which he 
had purchased from John Cubbage, and "a plantation on 
the main over against Jekyll island." This was his fa- 
vorite residence. Here, on the 18tli of March, 1741, — 
despite the presence of a guard of soldiers there stationed 

* Memoir of General James Oglethorpe, by Robert Wright, pp. 284, 285. London, 1867. 




by General Oglethorpe, — the Indians made an attack verj 
early in the morning, killing several of the soldiers and 
servants, wounding others, "locking down the women and 
children in the cellar," pillaging the house, and carrying 
away the booty in a large boat belonging to the plantation.* 

The grant of this five hundred acre tract on Midway 
river to Mark Carr in fee simple, was made under the 
operation of the rules adopted by the Common Council 
in May, 1750, which essentially enlarged the tenures of 
grants already existing, and provided that future alienations 
should convey "an absolute inheritance to the grantees, 
their heirs and assigns." It will be remembered that under 
the regulations at first prescribed by the Trustees, five 
hundred acre tracts were conveyed only to persons well 
approved by the Trust ; — parties who should at their own 
expense, and within twelve months from the date of the 
grant, bring ten able-bodied men servants not younger 
than twenty years of age, and settle upon the lands. 

Former alienations of this magnitude had been coupled 
with other conditions, among which the following may be 
enumerated as the most important : 

I. The grantee obligated himself to abide in Georgia 
with his servants for a term of not less than three years, 
building houses and cultivating the lands. 

II. Within ten years from the registry of the grant, at 
least two hundred of the five hundred acres were to be 
cleared and cultivated. 

III. No alienation of the lands thus granted, either in 
whole or in part, for a term of years or otherwise, was 
permitted except by special leave. 

*See A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, &c., by William Stephens, pp. 160, 161. 
London, mdccxlii. 

StJNBURY. 145 

ly. After the lapse of eighteen years from the date of 
the grant, should any part of the five hundred acres re- 
main uncultivated, unplanted, uncleared, and without a 
worm-fence, or pales six feet high, such portion should 
revert to the Trust, and the grant, pro tanto, was to be- 
come void. 

Y. These grants were in Tail Male.'^" 

On the 20th of June, 1758, Mark Carr conveyed three 
hundred acres of this five hundred acre tract, including 
that portion bordering upon Midway river, to " James Max- 
well, Kenneth Baillie, John Elliott, Grey Elliott, and John 
Stevens, of Midway, Esquires," -s^- ^ ^ in trust that the 
same should be laid out as a town by the name of Sun- 
hury ; — one hundred acres thereof being dedicated as a 
common, for the use of the future inhabitants ; — and in 
further trust "that they, the said James Maxwell, Ken- 
neth Baillie, John Elliott, Grey Elliott, and John Stevens 
and their successors, should sell and dispose of all and 
singular the lots to be laid out in the said town of Sunbury 
to and for the proper use and behoof of the said Mark 

Captain McCallt suggests that "the town was called Sun- 
bury,^ the etymology of which is probably the residence of 
the sun, — from the entire exposure of this place to his 
beams while he is above the horizon." We believe that 
this projected village was named for Sunbury, a quiet and 
beautiful town in Middlesex County, on the left bank of 
the Thames, only a little way above Hampton Court, and 
distant some eighteen miles by land from London ; — it 
being a pleasant custom among the colonists to perpetuate 

* See An Account Shewing the Progress of the Colony of Greorgia in America, &c. pp. 
48, i9. London, 1741. 

t History of Georgia, vol. i, p. 255. Savannah, 1811. 


in their new homes the memories of persons and places 
dear to them in the mother country. 

In ancient records, says Lysons, this place (Sunbury in 
England) is called Sunnahyri, Sunneberie, Suneberie, ^c. 
Sunnabyri is composed of two Saxon words, — sunna, the 
sun, and hyri, a town, — and may be supposed to denote 
a place exposed to the sun, or with a southern aspect. 

A name better suited to this locality could scarcely have 
been suggested. It recalls the peaceful memories of one 
of the gentle towns of old England, and typifies the genial 
influences of the "King of Day" as, from early dawn until 
sunset, he irradiates with floods of light the bold bluff "on 
the westermost bank of the river Midway." 

Two of the Trustees, — John Stevens and John Elliott, — 
were prominent members of the Midway Congregation. 
James Maxwell had been for several years a resident of 
St. John's Parish. He and John Stevens were members 
of the Provincial Congress which assembled at Tondee's 
Long-room in Savannah on the 4th of July, 1775.^ 

Kenneth Bailhe and Grey Elliott were active and in- 
fluential citizens. The latter was subsequently selected 
by the General Assembly to act as an assistant from the 
Colony of Georgia to Dr. Benjamin Eranklin who had been 
chosen by several of the Provinces, — Georgia among the 
number, — and sent on a special mission to England to 
represent the wants and grievances of the Colonies, re- 
monstrate against such acts of the Crown as were deemed 
oppressive, and oppose taxation without representation. J 

* The folloAving members of that Congress came from the Parish of St. John : James 
Screven, Nathan Brownson, Daniel Koberts, John Baker, Sr., John Bacon, Sr., James Max- 
well, Edward Ball, William Baker, Sr., William Bacon, Jr., John Stevens, and John 
Winn, Sr.t 

t Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. n, p. 106. 

t See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ir, p. 7. Savannah, 1816. 


All the Trustees, therefore, were men of position and 
character, commanding the respect of the community. 

Their selection for the trust indicated sound judgment and 

well-placed confidence on the part of Mark Carr. 

The road from Savannah to New Inverness in the 
Darien settlement which, in 1736, in obedience to Mr. 
Oglethorpe's orders, was located by Captain Hugh Mac- 
Kay, Jr., with his company of Rangers, and Indian guides 
furnished by Tomo-chi-chi, had been completed. Various 
settlements on the Savannah, Yernon, and Great Ogee- 
chee rivers, and also on St, Simons island and the Ala- 
tamaha river having been confirmed, between 1740 and 
1750 planters with their families and servants began to 
move in and occupy desirable localities intermediate the 
Great Ogeechee and Alatamaha rivers. The sites, at 
first selected, lay along the line of the Savannah and 
New Inverness road, and upon high-grounds adjacent 
thereto bordering upon salt-water streams and swamps 
emptying into them. Between the Great Ogeechee and 
South-New Port rivers was formed the Midway settlement. 

This district derived its name from its location, which 
was about midway between the rivers Savannah and Ala- 
tamaha then constituting the northern and southern 
boundaries of the colony. It has been suggested, and 
the belief is current with some, that the true spelling is 
Medway, and that both the District and the river which 
permeates it were named for one of the well-known 
streams of merrie old England."^' 

* The Medway, in the coianty of Kent, is a noble stream. Its trunk and branches cover 
thirty square miles of the surface of the county, and its length is nearly sixty miles, — 
of which forty are navigable. This river well deserves the name of Vaga, by which the 
Britons described its wanderings. The Saxons added the syllable Med, the sign of mid- 
dle, because the river runs through the centre of the county, and thus gets its present 
name of Medway. 

Encyclopfedia Britanica, 8th Edition, vol. xin, Article Kent, p. 65. 

See also vol. vui, p. 716. 



On the only plan of Sunburj the writer has been able 
to procure, and in some of the early records, this river 
is written Medioay. It may be fairly stated, however, 
that while by some the river may have been called Med- 
way, the district was universall}^ known as Midway. The 
time-honored church, which still stands, and its prede- 
cessor which so long stood near the intersection of the 
Savannah and Darien, and the Sunbury roads, are both 
remembered as the Midway and not Medivay congrega- 
tional meeting houses. We are persuaded that the river 
as well as the district were both named Midway : — the 
former being called for the latter. 

By an act dividing the several districts and divisions of 
the Province of Georgia into Parishes, passed the 15th 
day of March, 1758," it was provided that " the town of 
Hardwick and district of Ogechee, on the south side of 
the river Great Ogechee, extending northwest up the said 
river so far as the Lower Indian trading path leading 
from Mount Pleasant, and southward from the town of 
Hardwick as far as the swamp of James Dunham, in- 
cluding the settlements on the north side of the north 
branches of the river Midway, with the islands of Ossa- 
baw, and from the head of the said Dunham's Swamp in 
a north-west line, shall be and forever constitute a parish 
by the name of ' The Parish of St. Phihp ' : from Sunbury 
in the district of Midway and Newport from the southern 
bounds of the parish of St. Philip, extending southward 
as far as the north line of Samuel Hastings, and from 
thence southeast to the south branch of Newport, includ- 
ing the islands of St. Katharine and Bermuda, and from 
the north hne of the said Samuel Hastings northwest, 

*Marbur5- and Crawford's Digest, pp. 150 152. 


shall be and forever continue a parish by the name of 'The 
Parish of St. John ' : the town and district of Darien, 
extending from the south boundary of the parish of St. 
John to the river Alatamaha, including the islands of 
Sapelo and Eastwood, and the sea islands to the north 
of Egg island northwest up the river Alatamaha to the 
forks of the said river, shall be and forever continue a 
parish by the name of ' The Parish of St. Andrew : ' and 
the town and district of Frederica, including the islands 
of Great and Little St. Simons, and the adjacent islands 
shall be and forever continue a parish by the name of ' The 
Parish of St. James.' " 

Such were the territorial limits of the four southern 
parishes of the province, approved by Governor Ellis, and 
designed to promote the establishment of religious worship 
according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of 

As the early population of Sunbury was largely drawn 
from the members of the Midway congregation, — the most 
pronounced society existing within the limits of St. John's 
parish at the time of its formation, — a brief sketch of that 
congregation and its establishment in Georgia, may not be 
deemed irrelevant. 

Early in 1697 a body of Puritans from ■ the Towns of 
Dorchester, Roxbury, and Milton, in Massachusetts, taking 
with them their pastor, — the Reverend Joseph Lord, — 
and proclaiming as a leading object the encouragement of 
churches and the promotion of religion in the Southern 
plantations, removed with their families and personal effects 

* Under the writs of election issued by Sir James Wright in 1761, Thomas Carter, Par- 
menus Way and John Winn were returned as members from Midway and Sunbury in St. 
John's Parish. t 

I McCall's Georgia, vol. i, p. 286. 


and formed a new home at Dorchester, in the province of 
South Oarohna. The church which they there established 
was the first Congregational or Independent Church within 
the confines of that Colony. All the other religious socie- 
ties belonged to the established Church of England. 

After a residence of more than fifty years, finding their 
lands impoverished and insufiicient for the rising genera- 
tion, — Dorchester and Beach-Hill proving very unhealthy, — 
the good reports of the lands in Georgia having been con- 
firmed upon the personal inspection of certain members of 
the Society who had been sent for that purpose, and a 
grant of 22,400 acres of land having been secured from 
the authorities in Georgia, — which grant was subsequently 
enlarged by the addition of 9,950 acres, — the members of 
the Dorchester Society commenced moving in 1752 into 
what is now the swamp region of Liberty County. The 
settlement lay between Mount Hope Swamp, — the head 
of Midway riv^r, — on the North, and Bull-Town Swamp 
on the South. At first, however, it was not so compre- 
hensive. It extended neither to the pine barrens on the 
West, nor to the salt water on the East. This immigra- 
tion, begun in 1752, was continued until 1771, when it 
ceased.^ According to the records of the Society, there 
were forty-four removals in all, of which one famil}' came 
from Charlestown, four from Pon-Pon, and the remaining 
thirty-nine from Dorchester and Beach-Hill. These re- 

* DeBralim says : " The Beach-Hill Congregation settled tipon the Heads of the two 
Newport Rivers early in the year 1752, when they left Carolina in a great Body, they con- 
tiniied drawing their Effects and Cattle after settling all other Concerns in their native 
Province until 1755, many rich Carolina Planters followed the Example of that Congre- 
gation, and came with all their Families and Negroes to settle in Georgia in 1752 : the 
Spirit of Emigration out of South Carolina into Georgia became so universal that year, 
that this and the following year near one thousand Negroes was broiight in Georgia, 
where in 1751 were scarce above three dozen. "t 

t History of the Province of Georgia, &c., p. 21. Wormsloe, 1849. 


movals were most numerous during the years 1754, 1755, 
and 1756. These immigrants brought their negroes with 
them, and it appears probable, from the best lights before 
us, that the population of this colony, after its full estab- 
lishment, consisted of about 350 whites, and 1500 negro 

The region into which the Dorchester Congregation 
immigrated was already known as the Midiuay District. 
To the General Assembly which convened in Savannah in 
1751, Audley Maxwell, Esquire, was sent as a delegate ; — 
its population then entitling it to such representation. 
It would appear that a number of families residing in the 
Midway District previous to the arrival of the Dorchester 
Congregation, united with that Society after it was regularly 
domiciled in its new home. The Dorchester Colony did 
not immigrate, in its entirety, to Georgia. Some families 
continued to dwell at Dorchester and Beach-Hill, where 
their descendants may yet be found. Others removed else- 
where. With the formation of the new settlement in St. 
John's parish, however, the old Dorchester colony in South 
Carolina lost its integrity and distinctive characteristics. 

In locating their plantations amid the swamps of St. 
John's parish, the following plan was adopted : After laying 
by their crops in Carolina in the fall of the year, the plant- 
ers came with able-bodied hands, and, during the winter, 
cleared land and built houses. In a season or two having 
thus sufficiently prepared the way, they brought their fami- 
lies and servants in the early spring, and at once entered 
upon the cultivation of the soil. Thus was the removal 
rendered as safe and comfortable as the nature of the 
case permitted. 

Strange to say, their dwellings and plantation quarters 



were invariably located on tlie edges of the swamps, in 
utter disregard of the manifest laws of health. In such 
malarial situations was the entire year passed. Their 
houses at first were built of wood, one story high, with 
dormer windows in the roofs, small in size, without lights, 
with no inside linings, and with chimneys of clay. ' The 
negro-houses were made either of clay or poles. For 
market, rice was the only article cultivated. While corn 
was planted on the upland, chief attention was bestowed 
upon the clearing, ditching, and drainage of the swamps. 
A miasmatic soil was thus exposed to the action of the 
sun, at their very doors. The consequence of such injudi- 
cious location, and of a general inattention to domestic 
comfort, was violent sickness and considerable mortality. 
So frequent were the deaths among children that they 
seldom arrived at puberty. Those who attained the age 
of manhood and womanhood possessed feeble constitutions. 
According to the register kept by the Society, from 1752 
to 1772, — -the, period during which this settlement was 
being formed, — 193 births and 134 deaths occurred. The 
mortality was greatest during the months of September, 
October, and November. April, May, June, and August 
appear to have been the healthiest months : — June par- 
ticularly so. Bilious fevers in the fall, and pleurisies in 
the winter and spring, were the diseases which proved most 
fatal. It used to be said of such as survived a severe 
attack of bilious fever in the fall, that they would certainly 
die of pleurisy in the winter or spring. 

The Indians being in the vicinity, and at times indulging 
in acts of hostility, some of the houses of these early 
settlers were made of hewn cypress logs after the fashion 
of block houses, and were bullet proof. 


The style of agriculture in vogue was of the most primi- 
tive sort. The ground was tilled with hoes only. Ploughs 
were not in use. All rails for fencing were carried on 
the heads and shoulders of the negroes, and in the same 
manner was rice transported from the fields. This grain 
was not only threshed but also beaten by hand : and thus 
was the crop prepared for market. At first some of the 
planters sold their crops in Savannah. A trip to that 
place was the event of the year, and the anticipated jour- 
ney was talked of in the neighborhood for some time be- 
fore it was undertaken. Horses were specially fed and 
carefully attended for a week or more preparatory to the 
jaunt. Ordinary journeys to church, and of a social char- 
acter, were performed on horseback. Hence horse-blocks 
were to be seen at every door. When he would a-woo- 
ing go, the gallant appeared mounted upon his finest 
steed and in his best attire, followed by a servant on an- 
other horse, conveying his master's valise behind him. 
I Shortly after the Revolutionary war stick-back gigs 
were introduced. If a woman were in the vehicle and 
unattended, the waiting man rode another horse, keep- 
Eig along side of the shaft horse and holding the check 
p'ein in his left hand. When his master held the lines, 
the servant rode behind. Men often went armed to church 
for fear of the Indians. 

The country was filled with game Ducks and wild 
geese in innumerable quantities frequented the rice-fields. 
Wild turkeys and deer abounded. Bears and beavers 

I were found in the swamps, and buffalo herds wandered 
at no great remove to the southward and northward, 
ffhere was no lack of squirrels, raccoons, opossums, rab- 
bits, snipe, wood-cock, and quail. Wildcats and hawks 


were the pest of the region, while the cougar was some- 
times heard and seen in the depths of the vine-clad 
swamps. The waters which they held were aHve with 
fishes, alligators, terrapins, and snakes. 

Such, in a few words, was the condition of the swamp 
region of the Midway District when the town of Sun- 
bury was located. Responding to the trust reposed in 
them by the conveyance from Mark Carr, Messrs. James 
Maxwell, Kenneth Baillie, John Elliott, Grey Elliott, and 
John Stevens, with due dispatch set about laying off the 
town upon the "westermost bank" of Midway river.| 
The plan, as matured and carried out by them, embraced 
three public squares, — known respectively as King's, Churchf 
and Meeting, — and four hundred and ninety-six lots. These 
lots had a uniform front of seventy feet, and were one hun- 
dred and thirty feet in depth. Lots numbers one to forty, 
inclusive, fronting on the river, were denominated Bay Lots, 
and carried with them the ownership of the shore to low- 
water mark. Four lots constituted a block, bounded on 
'three sides by streets, and on the fourth by a lane. The 
streets were seventy-five feet broad, and the lanes twenty 
feet wide. The plan of the town was entirely regular. The 
streets in one direction ran at right angles to the river, and 
were, at right angles, intersected by the cross streets and 
lanes. From north to south the length of Sunbury, as thus 
laid out, was 3430 feet. Its breadth on the south side was 
2230 feet, and on the north, 1880 feet. 

Within a short time substantial wharves were constructed, 
the most marked of which were subsequently owned and 
used by the following merchants : Kelsell & Spalding, Fisher, 
Jones & Hughes, Darling & Co., and Lamott. 

That Sunbury must rapidly have attracted the notice of 


the colonists and quickly secured a population by no means 
insignificant or destitute of influence in that day of small 
things, is evidenced by the fact that as early as 1761 the 
Governor, by and with the advice and consent of his council, 
established and declared it to be a port of entry, and 
appointed Thomas Carr, Collector, John Martin, Naval Offi- 
cer, and Francis Lee, Searcher. These appointments were 
confirmed by the Commissioners of his Majesty's Customs."^' 
By deed prepared by Thomas Bosomworth, Malatche 
Opiya, Mico, Emperor of the Upper and Lower Creeks, in 
consideration of ten pieces of stroud, twelve pieces of dufiles, 
two hundred weight of powder, two hundred weight of lead, 
twenty guns, twelve pairs of pistols, and one hundred 
weight of vermilion, on the 14th day of December, 1749, 
conveyed to Thomas and Mary Bosomworth [formerly 
Musgrove] Hussoope or Ossabaw island, Cowleggee or 
St. Catherine island,t and Sapelo, with their appurten- 
ances, warranting the same to them, their heirs, and 
assigns, so long as the sun should shine, or the waters 
flow in the rivers. J This claim to the ownership of 
these valuable islands proved a very annoying one to the 
colonists. After years of litigation, the dispute was finally 

* See Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ii, p. 21. Philadelphia, 18.59. 

In his letter to Lord Halifax, written in 1763, Sir James Wright says : " I judged it 
necessary for his Majesty's service that Sunbury, — a well settled place, having an exceed- 
ing good harbour and inlet from the sea, — should be made a Port of Entry : and I have 
appointed Thomas Carr, Collector, and John Martin, Naval Officer for the same. There 
are eighty dwelling houses in the place : three considerable merchant stores for supply- 
ing the town and planters in the neighborhood with all kinds of necessary goods ; and 
around it for about fifteen miles is one of the best settled parts of the country." 

t When visited by an English traveller in 1743, this island was inhabited by eight or 
ten families of Indians, who had considerable tracts of open land, and were largely 
engaged in the cultivation of corn. It abounded with game, "on which," says the 
writer, "the good Indians regaled us, and for Greens boiled us the Tops of China Briars, 
which eat almost as well as Asparagiis."* 

* London Magazine for 1745, pp. 551, 552. 

IX McCall's History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 214; 215. Savannah, 1811. 


settled in 1759, by Royal command, by admitting a demand 
of Mrs. Bosomworth for £450 for goods alleged to have been 
expended by lier in his Majesty's service during the years 
1747 and 1748, by allowing her a back salary at the rate of 
XlOO per annum for sixteen years and a half, during which 
she had acted in the capacity of government agent and inter- 
preter, and by confirming to her and her designing husband 
full right and title to St. Catherine island, in consideration 
of the fact that they had fixed their residence and planted 

St. Catherine island was the home of the Bosomworths 
when Sunbury was settled. Some fourteen years after- 
wards it formed the residence of the honorable Button 
Gwinnett, who, having disposed of his stock of merchan- 
dise in Charleston, South Carolina, with the proceeds pur- 
chased some negroes and a tract of land on St. Catherine, 
where he devoted himself to agricultural pursuits until, 
on the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, he was sum- 
moned from his retirement by the voice of his fellow- 

Captain McCall, in alluding to the early history of Sun- 
bury, says : " Soon after its settlement and organization 
as a town, it rose into considerable commercial import- 
ance ; emigrants came from different quarters to this 
healthy maritime port, particularly from Bermuda : about 
seventy came from that island, but unfortunately for 
them and the reputation of the town, a mortal epidemic 
broke out and carried off about fifty of their number the 
first year : it is highly probable they brought the seeds 
of the disease with them. Of the remainder, as many 

* See Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 453, 454. 

t See Sanderson's Biograpliy of tlie Signers, vol. in, p. 120. Philadelphia, 1823. 


as were able, returned to their native country. This cir- 
cumstance, however, did not very much retard the grow- 
ing state of this eligible spot : a lucrative trade was car- 
ried on with various parts of the West Indies in lumber, 
rice, indigo, corn, &c. Seven square-rigged vessels have 
been known to enter the port of Sunburj in one day, 
and about the years 1769 and 1770 it was thought by 
many, in point of commercial importance, to rival Savan- 
nah. In this prosperous state it continued with very 
little interruption until the war commenced between Great 
Britain and America."* 

In his report on the condition of the Province of 
Georgia, dated the 20th of September, 1773, Sir James 
Wright mentions Savannah and Sunbury as being the 
only ports in the Province. The inlet to the latter he 
describes as " very good ; and, although the river is not 
more than twenty two miles in length, fifteen feet of water 
may be carried up to the town distant twelve miles from 
the sea." From the same source we learn that during 
the year 1772 fifty-six vessels of various sorts were en- 
tered and cleared at the custom house in the port of 
Sunbury.f The collector of the port at this time was 
James Kitchen, with a salary of £65 stg, and fees of 
office amounting to £90. The comptroller and searcher 
was Isaac Antrobus : salary £60 : fees of office amount- 
ing to a like sum. 

Sunbury soon commanded the rice crop from the adja- 
cent swamp regions. Indigo was planted on the island 
just below, then called Bermuda, and now known as the 
Colonel's Island. The principal trade was with the West 

*McCairs History of Georgia, vol, i, pp. 255, 256. Savannah, 1811. 

1 See Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. iii, p. 161, et seq. Savannah, 



Indies and witli the Northern Colonies. From the former, 
supphes of rum and sugar were obtained, and from the 
latter rum, flour, biscuits, and provisions. To the West 
Indies were shipped rice, corn, peas, indigo, lumber, 
shingles, live stock, and barreled beef and pork. Governor 
Wright regarded the trade with the Northern Colonies as 
injurious to the Province of Georgia, because, says he, 
" they take of but little of our produce, and drain us of 
every trifle of Gold and Silver that is brought here, by 
giving a price for Guineas, Moidores, Johannes's Pistols 
and Dollars far above their real and intrinsic value, so 
that we can never keep any amongst us." So anxious was 
Sunbury to concentrate all the trade of the interior, that 
at one time it was projDosed to connect Midway and North 
Newport rivers by a canal running between Bermuda island 
and the main. This project, however, was never consum- 
mated. Occasionally A^essels arrived fi'om EngHsh ports 
bringing manufactured goods, but such generally sought 
Savannah as the port of entry and discharge. The pur- 
chases of the Sunbury merchants were largely made in 
or through Savannah, and were thence conveyed in coast- 
ing sloops and schooners through the inland passages. 
Below the town, and on the road to the Colonel's island, 
is a locality to this day known as the stave landing, whence, 
in these early daj^s, constant shipments of staves and shin- 
gles were made. On the eastern side of that island, the 
site of the old shipyard is still pointed out where vessels 
were repaired and new ones built. It was here that the 
British landed during the Revolutionary war, when, under 
Lieut. Col. Fuser, they attempted the reduction of Sunbury. 
The health of Sunbury from the time of its settlement 
until, and even after the Revolutionary war, was good. It 

StJNBURt. 159 

became a pleasant residence for the families of many 
planters whose plantations were located in the swamp 





^ is a "list of the Proprietors of the Town 

of Sunbur^ 

T in 

Georgia," and of the Lots owned by them 

or their representatives about the period of the war of the 





—Mark Carr. 




Arthur Carnaby. 




Grey EUiott. 








Francis Arthur. 




William Graves. 




Francis Arthur. 




John Cubbidge. 




James Maxwell. 




Mary Spry. 




Samuel Bennerworth. 




Stephen Dickinson. 




James Fisher. Schmidt k Molich. 




Do. Do. 




Swinton & Co. 




Darling & Munro. 




Francis Arthur. 




James Derwell. 




Swinton & Co. 




Thomas Peacock. 




Andrew Darling. 




Thomas Young. 








Roger Kelsall. 




John James. 


Lot No. 26. — Joseph Bacon. 

" 27. John Stewart, Sen'r. 

" 28. John Lupton. 

" 29. Dunbar, Young & Co. 

" 30. Do. 

" 31. John Elhott. 

" 32. James Dunham. 

" 33. Lyman Hall. 

" 34. Do. 

" 35. Samuel Miller. 

" 36. Kenneth Baillie, Sen'r. 

" 37. Samuel Benner worth. 

" 38. Do. 

" 39. William Sererson. 

" 40. Do. 

" 41. Mark Carr. 

" 42. Tabitha Bacon. 

" 43. Do. 

" 44. John Winn. 

" 45. David Jervey. 

" 46. Do. 

" 47. Francis Arthur. 

" 48. Francis Lee. 

" 49. John Quarterman, Jr. 

" 50. James Dowell. 

" 51. John Irvine. 

" 52. Jeremiah Irvine. 

" 53. Darling & Co. 

" 54. Matthew Smallwood. 

" 65. William Peacock. 

" 56. Isaac Lines. 

" 57. John Osgood. 


Lot No. 58. — Rebecca Way. 

" " 59. John Stewart, Sr. 

" " 60. JohnLupton. 

" " 61. James Dunham. 

" " 62. John Shave. 

" " 63. Jacob Lockerman. 

" " 64. Paynter Dickinson. 

" " 65. John Lawson. 

" '' 66. Do. 

" •' 67. Thomas Ralph. 

" " 68. John Qaarterman, Sr. 

" " 69. Thomas Gouldsmith. 

" " 70. James Houstoun. 

" " 71. John Stevens. 

" " 72. Mark Carr. 

" " 73. Hugh Clark. 

" " 74. Do. 

" " 75. Kenneth BaiUie, Sr. 

" " 76. Do. 

" " 77. Paris Way. 

" " 78. Nathaniel Yates. 

" " 79. WiUiam Dunham. 

" " 80. Charles West. 

" " 81. Daniel Slade. 

" " 82. Jacob Lockerman. 

" " 83. Samuel West. 

" " 84. Thomas Carter, P. Schmidt. 

" " 85. John Elliott. 

" " 86. Do. 

" " ~ 87. William Baker. 

" " 88. Do. 

" " 89. Audley MaxweU. 




Lot No. 90. — Elizabeth Simmons. 

91. John Graves. 

92. Do. 

93. Robert Bolton. 

94. John Baker. 

95. John Humphreys. 

96. James Fisher, Francis Guilland. 

97. John Lupton. 

98. Do 

99. Henry Saltus. 

100. Donald McKay. 

101. Stephen Dickinson. 

102. Do. 

103. WilHam Clark. 

104. Thomas Christie. 

105. Samuel Jeanes. 

106. Moses Way. 

107. William David. 

108. Paynter Dickinson. 

109. Francis Lee. 

110. Do. 

111. James Harley. 

112. Samuel Bacon. 

113. Tabitha Bacon. 

114. John Stewart, Snr. 

115. Do. 

116. Do. 

117. Stephen Dicldnson. 

118. Do. 

119. John Elliott. 

120. Do. 

121. Benjamin Stevens. 



Lot No. 122.- 

-John Lynn. 

John Sutherland. 

Samuel Jeanes. 

Joseph Tickener. 
WiUiam Miller. 
Eichard Mills. * 

Peter McKay. 
James Miller. 

David Jervey. 
William Davis. 

Joseph Serjeant. 
John Jones. 
Strong Ashmore. 
Francis Arthur. 
Donald McKay. 

Andrew Way. 
James Fisher. 
George Monis. 
Thomas Way. 
James Hatcher. 

Francis Arthur. 





Lot No. 


—John Perkins. 

(I n 


Do. . 

(( (I 


William Lowe. 

it a 



(I (I 


Ciiaries West. Schmidt & Molich. 

(( (( 


Do. Do. 

ce (1. 



a a 



IC ti 


William Peacock. 

(( (( 



n u 


Charles W^est. 

(( a 



11 (I 


William Davis. - 

(( it 



li 11 


Francis Lee. 

(C 11 



li ii 


Thomas Yincent. 

a a 


Benjamin Baker. 

i( a 


Grey Elhott. 

a (t 



li Cl 



i( li 



it ii 


John Lupton. 

11 li 



(C li 



(I li 



li li 


T. Quarterman. 

11 11 


Joseph Bacon. 

11 It 


Susannah Jones. 

It It 



It It 


Barnard Eomans. 

11 It 




Lot No. 191. — Barnard Eomans. 

" " 192. Do. 

" " 200. John K. Zubley. 

" " 205. Edward Way. 

" " 206. Do. 

" " 207. James Fisher. 

" " 208. Do. 

" " 209. Edward Maham. 

" " 210. Do. 

" " 211. Eichard Spencer. 

" " 212. Do. 

" " 213. William Swinton. 

" " 214. Do. 

" " 215. Do. 

" " 216. Do. 

" 217. Samuel Jeanes. 

" " 218. Do. 

" " 219. Do. 

" " 220. Henry Saltus. 

" " 221. James Bead. 

" " 222. Do. 

" " 223. Charles West. 

" " 224. Do. 

" " 225. John Shave. 

" " 226. Do. 

" " 227. Richard Baker. 

" " 228. Do. 

" " 229. Marn'k Perry. 

" " 230. Do. 

'' 231. Thomas Dunbar 

" " 232. Joshua Snowden. 

'' '' 233. Samuel Burnley. Schmidt & M51ich. 



Lot No. 234.- 

—Samuel Burnley. Schmidt & Molich 

" " 235. 


" 236. 


" " 237. 

John Milchett. 

" " 238. 


" 239. 

James Andrew. 

" " 240. 


" " 241. 

William Dunham. 

" 242. 


" " 243. 

Samuel Jeanes. 

" " 244. 

Winw'd Mcintosh. 

u u 245. 

David Jervey. 

" 246. 


u .. 247. 

Francis Lee. 

" " 248. 

Samuel Morecock. 

" " 249. 

Mark Carr. 

" '' 250. 


" " 251. 

George Bodington. 

" " 252. 

Mary Bateman. 

" " 253. 

John Goff. 

" " 257. 

Robert Bolton. 

" " 258. 


'•' " 265. 

Mark Carr. 

" 266. 


" 267. 

John Bryan. 

" 268. 


" 269. 

Patrick M. Kay. 

" 270. 


" " 271. 

Benjamin Andrew. 

" " 272. 


" " 273. 

Morgan Tabb. 

" " 274. 


jofc No. 275.- 

o u rs X) u XV X . 

-Morgan Tabb. 

u u 276. 


u u 277. 

James Watcher. 

" 278. 


" 279. 

Francis Arthur. 

" " 280. 


" " 281. 

John Bryan. 

" " 282. 

Samuel Richardson. 

" " 283. 

John Gaspar Stirkej 

« " 284. 


" " 285. 

John Jones (mulatto. 

" 289. 

Thomas Carter. 

" 290. 


" " 305. 


" " 306. 


" " 307. 


" " 308. 


" " 309. 


" " 313. 

Samuel Tomlinson. 

" " 314. 


" " 315. 


" " 317. 

William Swinton. 

" " 318. 


" " 319. 


" " 320. 


" " 340. 

Peter McKay. 

" " 341. 


" " 342. 


" " 343. 


" " 344. 


« " 345. 


" " 346. 




Lot No. 347.— Peter McKay. 

" " 348. Do. 

" " 349. Do. . 

" " 350. Do. 

" " 351. Do. 

" " 352. Thomas Quarterman. 

" " 353. Barrack Norman. 

" " 354. Do. 

" " 355. Do. 

" " 356. Tarah, Senior. 

" " 357. Francis Ai'thur. 

" " 358. Do. 

" " 359. Frederick Hobrendorff. 

" " 360. Do. 

" " 361. Joseph Eichardson. 

" " 362. Do. 

" " 373. John Ford. 

" " 403. Thomas Christie. 

" " 404. Do. 

" '' 431. Marmaduke Gerry. 

" " 432. Do. 

« " 433. Do. 

" " 434. Eobert Smallwood. 

" " 435. Do. 

" " 436. John Winn. 

" 437. Francis Arthur. 

" " 438. Do. 

" " 473. Do. 

" " 474. Do. 

" " 475. Do. 

" " 476. Do. 

" " 477. Do. 



Lot No. 478. — Samuel Bacon. 
" 479. Francis Lee. 
" " 480. John Tutes. 

In the Spring of 1773 William Bartram, at the request 
of Dr. Fothergill of London, set out "to explore the 
vegetable kingdom," and search the Floridas and the west- 
ern portions of Carolina and Georgia " for the discovery 
of rare and useful productions of nature." In his charm- 
ing narrative of travels and observations, he presents us 
with this glimpse of our lost town : " After resting, and a 
little recreation for a few days in Savanna, and having in 
the meantime purchased a good horse, and equipped my- 
self for a journey southward, I sat off early in the morn- 
ing for Sunbury, a sea-porfc town beautifully situated on 
the main between Medway and Newport rivers, about fif- 
teen miles south of great Ogeeche river. The town and 
harbour are defended from the fury of the seas by the 
north and south points of St. Helena and South Catharine's 
islands ; between which is the bar and entrance into the 
sound : the harbor is capacious and safe, and has water 
enough for ships of great burthen. I arrived here in the 
evening in company with a gentleman, one of the inhabi- 
tants, who politely introduced me to one of the principal 
families, where I supped and spent the evening in a circle 
of genteel and polite ladies and gentlemen."'^' 

The following day was occupied in exploring Bermuda 
[now Colonel's] island, whose soil, plantations of indigo, 
corn, and potatoes, Indian tumuli of eaith and shell, flora 
and fauna, greatly interested and delighted him. 

" On the morrow," Continues Mr. Bartram, " obedient to 
the admonitions of my attendant spirit, curiosity, as well 

* Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., p. 5. London, 1792. 


as to gratify the expectations of my worthy patron, I again 
sat off on my southern excursion and left Sunbury in com- 
pany with several of its polite inhabitants who were going 
to Medway meeting, a very large and well constructed place 
of worship, in St. John's parish, where I associated with 
them in religious exercise and heard a very excellent ser- 
mon delivered by their pious and truly venerable pastor, 

the Rev. Osgood. This respectable congregation is ± 

independent, and consists chiefly of families and proselytes ■ 
to a flock which this pious man led, about forty years ago,* 
from South Carolina, and. settled in this fruitful district. 
It is about nine miles from Sunbury to Medway meeting- 
house, which stands on the high road opposite the Sun- 
bury road. As soon as the congregation broke up I re- 
assumed my travels, proceeding down the high-road to- 
wards Fort Barrington, on the Alatamaha, passing through 
a level country well watered by large streams, branches 
of Medway and Newport rivers, coursing from extensive 
swamps and marshes, their sources : these swamps are 
daily clearing and improving into large fruitful rice plan- 
tations, aggrandizing the well inhabited and rich district 
of St. John's parish. "t 

In the absence of records it is impossible to specify, with 
any degree of accuracy, the ratio of increase which char- 
acterized the population of Sunbury during the first twenty 
years of its existence. That at an early period it became a 
favorite resort not only for commercial purposes but also for 
health, admits of no doubt. The probability is that this 
town culminated in prosperity, population, and importance, 
about the beginning of the Revolutionary war, when its in- 

* His Observations were published in 1792. 
tidem, pp. 9, 10. 


habitants, white and black, numbered, we should say, be- 
tween eight hundred and a thousand. That, until the 
retarding influences of the Revolutionary struggle were 
encountered, Sunbury had steadily, although slowly, ad- 
vanced in material wealth, influence, and population, may be 
safely asserted. Bermuda island, too, was comfortably settled 
by agriculturists, on small plantations, busied chiefly with 
the production of indigo. Sunken spaces, indicating where 
the old vats were located, may be seen to this day. A rich 
and by no means inconsiderable back country was entirely 
tributary to Sunbury. Rice, cattle, lumber, shingles, staves, 
and other articles of commerce, brought from the furthest 
practicable distances, were here concentrated for sale and 
shipment; and quite an extensive territory drew its sup- 
plies from the store-houses and shops of the Sunbury 
merchants. On one or two occasions cargoes of Africans 
were landed and sold in this port. The houses, although 
of wood, were some of them large, and even imposing. 
The wharves were faced with palmetto and live oak logs, 
and filled in with oyster shells, sand, and stone-ballast. 
Among the residents were not a few of gentle birth, refine- 
ment, and education. As a rule, the inhabitants led easy, 
comfortable, simple lives, and were much given to hospi- 
tality. No one w^as ever in a hurry, and the mornings 
and afternoons, among the better class, were largely de- 
voted to amusements, such as fishing, sailing, riding, 
and hunting. The evenings were spent in visiting and 
in social intercourse. It was a good, easy life that these 
planters, even at that early day, began to lead upon the 
Georgia coast. It became more striking, abundant, and 
attractive after the Revolution ; but the delightful germs 
of the most pleasing existence this country has ever 


known were then present. No aid seems to have been 
invoked from the Colonial Council in either supporting 
the town or indicating the manner in which it should 
be governed. We find no public resolutions or acts on 
the subject prior to the legislation of 1791. In all like- , 
lihood a Magistrate's Court, and the concurrent views of f 
a few of the prominent citizens, invoked on an emergency, 
sufficed for the preservation of order and the maintenance 
of peace. 

The general council, however, from time to time, ap- 
pointed packers, inspectors, and " cullers of lumber " for 
the port. 

By an act passed the 26tli of March, 1767, it was made 
obligatory upon the inhabitants to ''clear and keep clear 
the several squares, streets, lanes, and common " within 
the town. In consideration of such service they were de- 
clared exempt from road duty in the parish of St. John.* 
By the constitution, adopted in convention at Savannah on 
the 5th day of February, 1777, the parishes of St. John, 
St. Andrew, and St. James, were consolidated into one 
county called LiIberty. The counties then named and de- 
fined within the limits of Georgia were eight in all : — 
AVilkes, Kichmond, Burke, Effingham, Chatham, Liberty, 
Glynn, and Camden. While to each of the other counties 
was accorded a representation of ten members, fourteen 
were allowed to Liberty in consideration of its extent and 
importance. Sunbury was permitted two special and addi- 
tional members to represent the trade of the place ; and, 
for like purpose. Savannah was empowered to send four. 

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary war the parish of 
St. John possessed nearly one-third the wealth of the entire 

* See Watkins' Digest, p. 144. 


pro\dnce ; and its inliabitants were remarkable for their 
upright and independent character."' Three hundred and 
seventeen of the four hundred and ninetj-six lots into 
which the town of Suuburj was divided, had been sold, and 
w^ere, many of them at least, occupied by their respective 
proprietors and their tenants. Among the prominent citi- 
zens was Dr. Lyman Hall, a native of Connecticut and a 
member of the Midway congregation. Although owning and 
cultivating a rice plantation situated on the Savannah and 
Darien road a few miles beyond Midway meeting house in 
the direction of Savannah, he was the proprietor of and re- 
sided upon two of the most desirable lots in Sunbury, num- 
bered 33 and 34: on the plan of that town, and fronting upon 
the river. He was the leading physician not only of the 
place but also of the adjacent country for many miles. It 
was mainly through his influence that the parish of St. 
John acted independently and in advance of the Republican 
party in Georgia. In acknowledgment of the decided stand 
then assumed by him, he was, on the 21st of March, 1775, 
unanimously elected as a delegate to represent the parish 
in the next general Congress. t On the 13th of May fol- 
lowing, upon the production of his credentials, he was unani- 
mously admitted to a seat in Congress " as a delegate from 
the parish of St. John in the Colony of Georgia, subject to 
such regulations as the Congress should determine rela- 
tive to his voting." He carried with him from Sunbury, 
as a present to the suffering Republicans in Massachusetts, 
one hundred and sixty barrels of rice, and fifty pounds 

It was not until the loth of July, 1775, that the 

* See Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ir, p. 92. Pliiladelpliia, 1859. 
t Sse Sanderson's Biography of the Signers, vol. iii, p. 55. Philadelphia, 1823. 
McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, p. il. Savannah, 1816. 


Convention of Georgia acknowledged complete allegiance 
to the general Confederacy, and appointed Archibald 
Bulloch, John Houstoun, the Rev'd Dr. Zublj, Noble W. 
Jones, and Lyman Hall as delegates to the Provincial 

Intermediately between the time when Dr. Hall took 
his seat in Congress as a delegate from the parish of 
St. John, and this action of the Convention, as he repre- I 
sented only a portion of the Colony of Georgia, he 
declined voting upoii questions which were to be decided i 
by a vote of Colonies. He, however, participated in the T 
debates, advocated the necessity and value of the present 
Congress, recorded his opinion in all cases except such 
as required an expression of sentiment by Colonies, and 
declared his earnest desire and conviction "that the • 
example which had been shown by the parish which he 
represented would be speedily followed, and that the 
representation of Georgia would soon be complete." 

When the Declaration of Independence was signed, of 
the three members from Georgia whose names were 
affixed to that memorable document, two — Lyman Hall 
and Button Gwinnett, — were from 8t. John's parish : and 
we may add, from the town of Sunbury : — for, although 
Gwinnett then resided on St. Catharine island, his home 
was within sight of that flourishing seaport, all his public 
and much of his private business was there transacted, 
he was constantly seen in its streets, was known and hon- 
ored of its citizens, and in very truth constituted one of 
them. Two Signers of the Declaration of Independence 
from one little town in St. John's parish ! and that town 
clean gone from the face of that beautiful, lonely, and 
bermuda-covered bluff! It is in perpetuating acts and 


names like these that memory stays the engulfing waves 
of oblivion, and administers signal rebuke to " time which 
antiquates antiquities and hath an art to make dust of all 
things."^' Did the limits of this sketch permit, it would 
be interesting to detail the efforts made by the parish of 
St. John to persuade positive resistance to English rule 
and inaugurate steps contemplating an absolute separation 
from the mother country when the greater part of Georgia 
was not persuaded of the expediency of such action and 
was actually opposed to the proceedings of the Continental 
Congress. So determined and independent was the rebel 
spirit in Sunbury, throughout the Midway settlement, and 
at Darien, that it actually brought about, for the time 
being, a voluntary political separation from the other 
parishes of the Colony. So annoyed were the citizens 
of St. John's parish by the temporizing policy which char- 
acterized the Savannah Convention, that on the 9th of 
February, 1775, they applied to the Committee of Cor- 
respondence in Charleston "requesting permission to form 
an alliance with them and to conduct trade and commerce 
according to the act of non-importation to which they had 
already acceded." It was strongly urged that having de- 
tached themselves from the other parishes in Georgia which 
hesitated to participate in the movement, they ought to 
be considered and received as a "separate body compre- 
hended within the spirit and equitable meaning of the Con- 
tinental Association. "t 

While admiring the patriotism of the parish, and en- 
treating its citizens to " persevere in their laudable exer- 

* Sir Thomas Browne's Hydriotaphia. 

^tSee Letter of the 9th of February, 1775, signed by Lyman Hall, Chairman. 
White's Historical Collections of- Georgia, pp. 520, 521. New York, 1855. 
Sanderson's Biography of the Signers, vol. ni, p. 54. Philadelphia, 1823. 


tions," the Carolinians conceived it improper, and " a vio- 
lation of the Continental Association to remove the pro- 
hibition in favor of any 2^0.'^^^ of a province." 

Disappointed, and yet not despairing, the inhabitants 
of the parish of St. John " resolved to prosecute their 
claims to an equality with the Confederated Colonies." 
Having adopted certain resolutions by which they obliga- 
ted themselves to hold no commerce with Savannah, or 
elsewhere, except under the supervision of a Committee, 
and then only for the absolute necessaries of life, they 
appointed Dr. Hall, as we have already seen, an independ- 
ent delegate to represent the parish in the general con- 
gress of provinces. 

The patriotic spirit of its inhabitants, and this inde- 
pendent action of St. John's parish in advance of the other 
parishes of Georgia, were afterwards acknowledged when 
all the parishes were in accord in the Revolutionary move- 
ment. As a tribute of praise, and in token of general ad- 
miration, by special act of the Legislature the name of 
Liberty County was conferred upon the consolidated par- 
ishes of St. John, St. Andrew, and St. James. Sir James 
Wright was not far from the mark when he located the 
head of the rebellion in St. John's parish, and advised 
the Earl of Dartmouth that the rebel measures there in- 
augurated were to be mainly referred to the influence of 
the " descendants of New England people of the Puritan 
Independent sect" who, retaining "a strong tincture of Re- 
publican or Oliverian principles, have entered into an agree- 
ment amongst themselves to adopt both the resolutions 
and association of the Continental Congress." On the 
altars erected within the Midway district were the fires 
of resistance to the dominion of England earliest kindled; 



and Lyman Hall, of all the dwellers there, by his counsel, 
exhortations, and determined spirit, added stoutest fuel to 
the flames. Between the immigrants from Dorchester and 
the distressed Bostonians existed not only the ties of a 
common parentage, but also sympathies born of the same 
religious, moral, social, and political education. Hence we 
derive an explanation of the reason why the Midway set- 
tlement declared so early for the Revolutionists. The Pu- 
ritan element cherishing and proclaiming intolerance of 
established church and the divine right of Kings, im- 
patient of restraint, accustomed to in(Jependent thought 
and action, and without associations which encouraged 
tender memories of and love for the mother country, as- 
serted its hatreds, its affiliations, and its hopes with no 
uncertain utterance, and appears to have controlled the 
action of the entire parish.^" 

When it became evident that England was resolved to 
coerce her Colonies, the inhabitants of Sunbury and of 
St. John's parish determined to place themselves in the 
best possible condition for effective resistance. While some 
of the citizens joined the State militia and the regularly 

*The apparent tardiness and hesitancy on the part of the Colony of Georgia in casting 
her lot with her Sister Colonies at the inception of those movements which culminated 
in a declaration of independence, may be excused or accounted for when we remember 
that she was the youngest and the least prepared of all the Colonies, and recall the fact 
that Schovilites, leagued with Indians, were scourging her borders and awakening in the 
breasts even of the most patriotic and daring, gravest apprehensions for the safety of their 
wives and children. "The charge of inactivity vanishes," says Captain McCall, " when 
the sword and hatchet are held over the heads of the actors to compel them to lie still."t 

During the progress of the Revolution the term Schovilite which, at first, was used 
to designate not only the bandit follower of Schovil, but also every adherent of the Crown 
in the Southern provinces, was dropped, and that of Loyalist and Tory substituted. The 
Revolutionists were known as Whigs, Jtebels, and Patriots. Many Loyalists who had fled 
from the Carolinas and Georgia secured a retreat in East Florida whence, having associated 
with themselves parties of Indians, under the name of Florida Rangers, they indulged in 
predatory incursions into Georgia to the great loss and disquietude of the southern por- 
tions of the Province. 

t History of Georgia, vol. it, p. 4. Savannah, 1816. 


constituted Colonial forces, others formed themselves into 
an infantry company, and a troop of horse, for local defense. 
The latter was commanded by Captain John Baker, who 
afterwards attained the rank of Colonel, and, in association 
with Colonels Cooper and Andrew Maybank, and Major 
Charles West, rendered signal service in the partisan war- 
fare which ensued. 

For the immediate protection of Sunbury a fort was 
built just below the town upon the point where the high 
ground ended and the wide impracticable marshes between 
the main and Bermuda island commenced. 

A small defensive work may have existed here at an 
earlier date. The Record Book of Midway Church dis- 
closes the fact that in 1756 a letter was received from the 
honorable Jonathan Bryan, — one of his Majesty's council 
for the Colony, — conveying the intelligence that the Indians 
were much incensed at several of their people having been 
killed by some settlers on the Great Ogeechee river in a 
dispute about cattle, and advising the Midway congi-egation, 
with expedition, to construct a fort for their protection. 
"People," continues the Journal, "are very much alarmed 
with the news, and consultations were immediately had 
about the building and place for a fort, and it ivas determined 
hy a majority that it should he at Captain Marh Garrs, low 
down, and upon the river near the sound, at about seven or 
eight miles distance from the nearest of the settlement of the 
Society, lohich accordingly ivas begun on the 20th September, 

On the 11th of July following, apprehending an attack 
from a French privateer, the Midway people were sum- 
moned to Sunbury, where they "raised a couple of batteries 

* See White's Historical Collections of Georgia, pp. 517, 518. New York, 1855. 


and made carriages for eight small cannon which were at 
the place." These were probably nothing more than field 
works thrown up on the bluff just in front of the town. It 
is to these little forts that Governor Ellis alluded when, 
upon his second tour of inspection through the southern 
portion of the Province, he " was pleased to observe that 
the inhabitants of the Midway District had enclosed their 
church within a defence, and had erected a battery of eight 
guns at Sunhury in a position to command the river.''^ 

The State of Georgia being under consideration, it was 
resolved by Congress, on the 5th of July, 1776, to raise 
two battalions (one of them to consist of riflemen) to serve 
in Georgia ; that blank commissions be sent to the Con- 
vention of Georgia to be filled up with the names of such 
persons as the Convention should deem proper ; that the 
Legislatures of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Caro- 
lina be recommended to allow recruits for these battalions 
to be enlisted in their several States ; that four galleys 
be built for the defense of the sea-coast, and that two 
artillery companies, of fifty men each, be enlisted to garrison 
tioo forts lohich the State was to erect at Savannah and Sun- 
hury. '\ 

It may, we presume, be safely asserted that the heavy 
earthwork on Midway river, just south of Sunbury, was 
laid out and erected about the period of the commencement 
of the Revolutionary war. If any prior defense there 
existed, it was so modified and enlarged as completely 
to lose its identity. 

* Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 445, 446. New York, 1847. 
t Journal of Congress, vol. i, p. 375. 

Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ii, p. 151. Philadelphia, 1859. 
Three days afterwards Congress appropriated $60,000 for the support of the battalions 
thus ordered to be raised. 



The names of those who were specially charged with 
the construction of this fort have not been perpetuated, 
but it lives in tradition that the planters of Bermuda island 
and of the Midway District, and the citizens of Sunbury 
contributed mainly to its erection. It was built chiefly 
by slave labor, and was armed with such cannon as could 
be procured on the spot, or obtained elsewhere."^ That 
its armament was by no means inconsiderable will be con- 
ceded when it is remembered that twenty-five pieces of 
ordnance were surrendered by Major Lane when he yielded] 
the ownership of this work to Colonel A. Prevost. These] 
guns, however, were small, consisting of 4, 6, 9, 12, and 
18-pounders, with perhaps one or two 24-pounders. It 
was called by the Americans, Foet Moreis ;t but, upon its 
capture by Colonel Prevost, its name was by him changed 
to Fort George. 

At the inception of the Revolutionary war the coast de- 
fenses of Georgia were in a most pitiable and dilapidated 
condition. All her forts were in ruins, or nearly so. On 
the 20th of September, 1773, Sir James Wright, — who 
makes no mention of any defensive work at Sunbury, — 
reports Fort George on Cockspur island, which was built 
in 1762 of mud walls faced with palmetto logs, with a ca- 
poniere inside to serve for officers' apartments, as " almost 
in ruins, and garrisoned only by an officer and three men, 
just to make signals, (fee." Fort Halifax, within the town 
of Savannah, constructed in 1759 and 1760, and made of 
plank filled in with earth, with the exception of two of 
its caponieres, was totally down and unfit for use. Fort 

* It is not improbable tbat some of tbese guns maj" have been brought from Frederica ; 
for the Council of Safety had ordered all warlike stores at that place to be secured. 

t In compliment to Captain Morris, commanding a company of Continental Artillery 
raised for coast defence. By this company was the fort garrisoned upon its completion. 




•'l^l- '^If- M N\"/ 



uxawsy ^ 


Fort MorriJ) 

J.Bien Phom.Lith.N.Y. 


Frederick, at Frederica, erected by General Oglethorpe 
when his regiment was stationed there, had been without 
a garrison for upwards of eight years, and although some 
of its tabby walls remained, the entire structure was fast 
passing into decay. Fort Augusta, in the town of Augusta, 
made of three-inch plank, had been neglected since 1767 
and was rotten in every part. Fort Barrington on the 
Alatamaha river was in like condition. Of the fort at 
New Ebenezer, of Fort William on the southern extrem- 
ity of Cumberland island, of Fort Argyle, and of the 
other minor defenses erected in the early days of the Col- 
ony, scarce a vestige remained. 

Located some three hundred and fifty yards due south 
of Sunbury, and occupying the bluff where it first con- 
fronts Midway river as, trending inward from the sound, 
it bends to the north, Fort Morris was intended to cover 
not only the direct water approach to the town, but also 
the back river by means of which that place might be 
passed and taken in reverse. Its position was well chosen 
for defensive purposes. To the south stretched a wide- 
spread and impracticable marsh permeated by Pole-haul 
and Dickerson creeks, — two tributaries of Midway river, — 
whose mouths were commanded by the gans of the fort. 
This marsh also extended in front of the work, constituting 
a narrow and yet substantial protection against landing 
parties, and gradually contracting as it approached the 
southern boundary of Sunbury. This fortification was an 
enclosed earth-work, substantially constructed. Its walls 
embraced a parade about an acre in extent. The eastern 
face, confronting the river, was two hundred and seventy- 
five feet in length. Here the heaviest guns were mounted. 
The northern and southern faces were respectively one 


hundred and ninety-one, and one hundred and forty feet 
in length, while the curtain, looking to the west, was two 
hundred and forty-one feet long. Although quadrangu- 
lar, the work was somewhat irregalar in shape. From the 
southern face and the curtain, no guns could be brought 
to bear upon the river. Those there mounted served only 
for defense against a land attack. The armament of the 
northern face could be opposed to ships which succeeded 
in passing the fort, until they ascended the river so far | 
as to get beyond range. It also commanded the town 
and the intervening space. The guns were mounted en 
barbette, without traverses. Seven embrasures may still 
be seen, each about five feet wide. The parapet, ten feet 
wide, rises six feet above the parade of the fort, and its 
superior slope is about twenty-five feet above the level 
of the river at high tide. Surrounding the work is a moat 
at present ten feet deep, ten feet wide at the bottom, and 
twice that width at the top. Near the middle of the 
curtain may be seen traces of a sally-port or gateway, 
fifteen feet wide. Such is the appearance of this aban- 
doned work as ascertained by recent survey. Completely 
overgrown by cedars, myrtles, and vines, its presence would 
not be suspected, even at a short remove, by those unac- 
quainted with the locality. Two iron cannon are now 
lying half buried in the loose soil of the parade, and a 
third will be found in the old field about midway between 
the fort and the site of the town. During the recent 
war between the States, two 6-pounder guns were re- 
moved from this fort and carried to Riceboro. No use, 
however, was made of them. Two more, of similar calibre, 
of iron, and very heavily reinforced at the breech, were 
taken by Captain C. A. L. Lamar, — whose company was 


then stationed at Sunbury, — and temporarily mounted on 
the bluff to serve as signal guns. Despite their age and 
the exposure to which they had so long been subjected, 
these pieces were in such excellent condition that they 
attracted the notice of the Ordnance department, and were 
soon transported to Savannah. There they were cleaned, 
mounted upon siege carriages, and assigned to Fort Bartow, 
where they remained, constituting a part of the armament 
of that work, until upon the evacuation of Savannah and 
its dependent forts by the Confederate forces in December, 
1864, they passed into the hands of the Federal army."^ 

Sunbury was occupied by the Kevolutionists as a military 
post, and its fort garrisoned at a very early period in the 
Colonial struggle for independence. t In 1776 when Gen. 
Charles Lee, after full conference with the venerable Jona- 
than Bryan, projected a plan of operations against St. 
Augustine for the relief of the southern frontier of Geor- 
gia, which had been constantly and sorely vexed by raiding 
bands from Florida, and to destroy what promised to be 

* For the accompanying plan of Fort Morris, I am indebted to a recent survey made at 
my suggestion by Sam'l L. Fleming, Esq., of Liberty County. 

t The following orders were issued by Colonel S. Elbert, for the fuller instruction of the 
Artillerists stationed at Sunbury : IT 

II See MS. Order Book of Col. Elbert. 

"Headquarters Savannah, 5th Dec'r, 1777. 


"You are to proceed immediately to the Town of Sunbury, in this State, where are a 
corps of Continental Artillery posted, which you are constantly to be employed in teach- 
ing the perfect use of Artillery, particularly in the Field. Both Officers and Men are 
hereby strictly ordered to attend on yon for the above purpose, at such times, and in 
such places as you may direct ; and the Commanding Officer of the Troops in that place 
on your shewing him these Orders, will furnish Men to do the necessary duty in the 
Town & Fort ; so that there will be nothing to prevent Captain Morris and his Company 
from being perfected in the Business for which they were raised. Such pieces of Artillery 
as you approve of, have mounted on Field-Carriages ; and for this purpose you are em- 
powered to employ the necessary Workmen, and procure Materials. Your drafts on me 
for every necessary Expense, accompanying the Vouchers, will be duly honored. 
" I am. Sir, yoiir most Obdt Servt, 

" S. Elbekt, Col. Commd'g." 


a strongliold for the English, the Yirginia and North Caro- 
lina troops who were in the expedition were ordered to 
rendezvous at Sunburj. It being the sickly season of the 
year, and the men being unaccustomed to the climate, much 
suffering was encountered from fevers. The mortality be- 
came so great, — from ten to fifteen dying in a single day, — 
that the soldiers were removed to the sea-islands in the 
vicinity for health," 

As we all know, through the failure of General Lee to 
concentrate the requisite men and munitions, the contem- 
plated movement from which so much was anticipated never! 
took place ; and when, on the 20th of September, he went 
North to assume the command to which he had been ap- 
pointed, he ordered the troops in the neighborhood of Sun- 
bury to follow him. 

This project was renewed by General Robert Howe, who 
advanced as far as Fort Tonyn. There, however, a council 
of war decided a further prosecution of the enterprise un- 
advisable. The sick and convalescent, — of whom there 
was a considerable number,- — in gallies and such boats as 
could be procured were, under the command of Colonel 
C. C. Pinckney, conducted by the inland passage to Sunbury 
where, for a time, they were allowed to rest and recruit. 
They were subsequently transferred to Charleston by the 
way of Port Royal. t Colonel John Mcintosh was left in 
command of Sunbury with one hundred and twenty-seven 
men. The remnants of Elbert's and White's regiments pro- 
ceeded to Savannah. I So far, Sunbury had suffered no 
molestation at the hands of the King's forces. 

* McCaU's Georgia, vol. ii, p. 96. Savaunah, 181G. 

tSee McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, p. 153. SavannatL, 1816. 

+ During tlie year 1777 American privateers were busy off the Georgia coast and among 
the inland passages. They cruised as far south as St. Augustine and made frequent 
captures. In his communication of the 8th of October, Sir James Wright informs Lord 


Lord George Germain's plan for the Southern campaign 
in 1778 was prepared with "minuteness of detail." The re- 
duction of Savannah was resolved upon. As a diversion, 
and with a view to distracting the attention of General 
Howe and the American forces concentrated for the pro- 
tection of the then capital of Georgia, General Augustine 
Prevost was ordered to dispatch from St. Augustine two 
expeditions, one, by sea, to operate directly against Sun- 
bury, and the other, by land, to march through and har- 
rass the lower portions of Georgia, and, at Sunbury, form 
a junction with the former. 

Responding to his instructions, that officer sent b}' water 
a detachment of infantry and light artillery under the 
command of Lieutenant Colonel Fuser for the capture of 
Sunbury. Lieutenant Colonel Mark Prevost was charged 
with the conduct of the expedition by land. He took 
with him one hundred British regulars. At Fort Howe, 
on the Alatamaha, he was joined by the notorious McGirth, 
with three hundred refugees and Indians. On the 19th of 
November this force ente:ed the Georgia settlements, tak- 
ing captive all men found on their plantations, and plun- 
dering the inhabitants of every article of value capable 
of transportation. At the point where the Savannah and 
Darien road crosses BuUtown swamp, Prevost was con- 
fronted by Colonel John Baker, who had hastily collected 
some mounted militia to dispute his advance. After a 
short skirmish the Americans retreated. Colonel Baker, 

George Germain that a short time previous a privateer from Sunbury, moiinting teu guns, 
had taken five prizes ; two of which were safely carried in. He urges upon the Secretary 
of War the expediency of stationing a twenty-gun ship or a frigate at Cockspur, two 
sloops of war in the Savannah river, and one at Sunbury. t 

From Sunbury, on the 1st of May, 1777, did Col. Elbert embark in transports his troops 
destined for the expedition against Florida undertaken at the instance of Governor 
Button Gwinnett. 

t Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. lit, pp. 246, 248. Savannah, 1873, 



Captain Cooper, and William Gonlding were wounded. At 
North Newport Bridge, [afterwards called Riceborougii 
Bridge,] further resistance was encountered at the hands 
of the Patriots, but it was too feeble to materially retard 
the progress of the invading forces. Meanwhile, Colonel 
John White," having concentrated about one hundred 
Continentals and militia, with two pieces of light artillery, 
took post at Midway Meeting House and constructed a 
slight breastwork across the road at the head of the cause- 
way over which the enemy must advance. His hope was 
that he might here keep Prevost in check until reinforce-; 
ments could arrive from Savannah. An express was sent 
to Colonel Elbert to ad^dse him of the hostile invasion, 
and Major William Baker, with a party of mounted mihtia, 
was detached to skirmish with the enemy and, at every 
possible point, interrupt his progress. On the morning of 
the 24th Colonel White was joined by General Screven 
with twenty militiamen. It was resolved to abandon the 
present and occupy a new position a mile and a half the 
other side of Midway Meeting House where the road was 
skirted by a thick wood in which it was thought an am- 
buscade might be advantageously laid. McGirth being 
well acquainted with the country, and knowing the ground 
held by Colonel White, suggested to Prevost the expe- 
diency of placing a party in ambush at the very point 
selected by the Americans for a similar purpose. It was 
further proposed, by an attack and feigned retreat, to 
draw Colonel White out of his works and into the snare. 
The contending parties arrived upon the ground almost 

*He had been for some time stationed at Sunbiiry, and commanded not only the Con- 
tinental troops there concentrated, but also all detached companies operating to the 
southward. Captain Morris' artillery company constitiited the permanent gaiTison of 
the Fort. 



simultaneously, and firing immediately commenced. Early 
in the action the gallant General Screven, renowned for 
his patriotism and beloved for his virtues, received a se- 
^'ere wound, fell into the hands of the enemy, and was by 
them killed while a prisoner and suffering from a mortal 
hurt. A shot fi'om one of the field pieces passed through 
the neck of Prevost's horse, and both animal and rider 
fell. Major Roman, commanding the artillery, supposing 
that the British commander had been killed, quickly ad- 
vanced his two field pieces to take advantage of the con- 
fusion which ensued, and Major James Jackson, thinking 
the enemy was retreating, shouted victory. Prevost how- 
ever soon appeared remounted, and advanced in force. 
Finding himself overborne by numbers. Colonel White re- 
treated upon Midway Meeting House, breaking down the 
bridges across the swamp as he retired, and keeping out 
small parties to annoy the enemy's flanks. Compelled to 
withdraw still further, and desiring by strategem to retard 
the advance of the enemy, Colonel White "prepared a 
letter as though it had been written to himself by Colonel 
Elbert, directing him to retreat in order to draw the Brit- 
ish as far as possible, and informing him that a large 
body of cavalry had crossed over Ogechee river with or- 
ders to gain the roar of the enemy, by which their whole 
force would be captured." This letter was so dropped 
as in the end to find its way into Colonel Prevost's hands, 
who seems to have considered it genuine. It is beheved 
that it exerted much influence in retarding his advance, 
which was pushed not more than six or seven miles be- 
yond Midway Meeting House in the direction of Savan- 
nah. Meanwhile, McGirth, with a strong party, reconnoi- 
tering in the direction of Sunbury, ascertained the fact 


that the expedition under Lieutenant Colonel Fuser had 
not arrived. This circumstance, in connection with the 
concentration of the forces of Colonels Elbert and White 
at Ogeechee ferrj, where a breastwork was thrown up 
and preparation made vigorously to dispute his further 
progress, determined Prevost to abandon his enterprise 
and return to St. Augustine. Treating the population as 
rebels against a lawful sovereign, and utterly refusing to 
stipulate for the security of the country, Prevost, upon 
his retreat, burnt Midway Meeting House, and all dwell- 
ings, negro-quarters, rice-barns, and improvements within 
reach. The entire region was ruthlessly plundered ; — the 
track of his retreating army being marked by smoking 
ruins. His soldiers, unrestrained, indulged in indiscrimi- 
nate pillage, appropriating plate, bedding, wearing apparel, 
and everything of value capable of easy transportation. 
The inhabitants were subjected to insult and indignities. 
The region suffered terribly, and the patriotism of the peo- 
ple was sorely tried. ^ The scene was such as was subse- 
quently repeated when General Augustine Prevost in 1779 
raided through the richest plantations of South Carolina, t 

* The following lines descriptive of the desolations wrought by this invading force, are 
extracted from a quaint old-fashioned poem composed by John Baker, a son of Colonel 
John Baker, and foimd among the MSS of the latter : 

" Where'er they march, the buildings burn. 
Large stacks of rice to ashes turn : 
And me [Midwaj^] a pile of ruin made 
Before their hellish malice staid. 

" Nor did their boundless fury spare 
The house devote to God and prayer : 
Brick, coal, and ashes shew the place 
Which once that sacred house did grace, 

" The churchyard, too, no better sped. 
The rabble so against the dead 
Transported were with direfiil fumes. 
They tore up and tincover'd tombs." 
t Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. x, p. 294. Boston, 1874. 



or when the Federal cavalry under General Kilpatrick, 
in tlie winter of 1864-1865, over-ran, occupied, and plun- 
dered Liberty county, converting a well ordered and abund- 
antly supplied region into an abode of poverty, lawless- 
ness, and desolation. 

Delayed by head winds. Colonel Fuser did not arrive 
in front of Sunbury until Prevost had entered upon his 
retreat and was beyond the reach of communication. Late 
in November, 1778, his vessels, bearing some five hundred 
men, battering cannon, light artillery, and mortars, anchored 
off the Colonel's island. A landing was effected at the ship 
yard. Thence, the land forces with field pieces, moving 
by the main road, marched upon Sunbury. The armed 
vessels sailed up Midway river in concert, and took position 
in front of the fort and in the back river opposite the town, 
simultaneously with its investment on the land side by the 
infantry and artillery. Colonel John Mcintosh, with one 
hundred and twenty-seven Continental troops, and some 
militia and citizens from Sunbury, — numbering less than 
two hundred men in all, — held Fort Morris. The town 
was otherwise unprotected. Having completed his disposi- 
tions, Fuser made the following demand upon Colonel 
Mcintosh for the surrender of the fort : 

•'' SiK, 

" You cannot be ignorant that four armies are in 
motion to reduce this Province. One is already under the 
guns of your fort, and may be joined, when I think proper, 
by Colonel Prevost who is now at the Medway meeting- 
house. The resistance you can, or intend to make, will 
only bring destruction upon this country. On the con- 
trary, if you will deliver me the fort which you command, 
lay down your arms and remain neuter until the fate of 



America is determined, you shall, as well as all of the in- 
habitants of this parish, remain in peaceable possession 
of your property. Your answer, which I expect in an hour's 
time, will determine the fate of this country, whether it is 
to be laid in ashes, or remain as above proposed. 
" I am Sir, 

" Your most obedient, &c., 

" L. Y. FusER, 

"Colonel 60th Regiment and Commander of his Majesty's 
" Troops in Georgia, on his Majesty's Service." 

"P. s. 

"Since this letter was closed, some of your people have I 
been firing scattering shot about the line. I am to inform 
you, that if a stop is not put to such irregular proceedings, , 
I shall burn a house for every shot so fired." f 

To this demand the following brave response was prompt- 
ly returned by Col. Mcintosh : " 

" Fort Morris, Nov. 25, 1778. 

" Sir, 

" We acknowledge w^e are not ignorant that your army 
is in motion to endeavour to reduce this State. We believe 

* Mr. Jolin Couper, in a letter dated St. Simon's, 16th April, 1842, and written when he 
was eighty-three j^ears of age, gives the following anecdote of the famoiis and eccentric 
Captain Rorj- Mcintosh Avho, at the time, had attached himself in a volunteer capacitj' to 
the infantry company commanded by Captain Murray, forming part of the 4th Battalion 
of the 60th Eegiment. Captain Murray's company was in the lines which Colonel Fuser 
had developed around Sunbury and its Fort. "Early one morning," writes Mr. Couper, 
" when Rory had made rather free with the 'mountain dew,' he insisted on sallying out 
to summons the fort to surrender. His friends could not restrain him, so out he strutted, 
claymore in hand, followed by his faithful slave Jim, and approached the fort, roaring 
oiit, ' Surrender, you miscreants ! How dare you presume to resist his Majesty's arms ? " 
Captain Mcintosh knew him, and, seeing his situation, forbid any one firing, threw open 
the gate, and said " Walk in, Mr. Mcintosh, and take possession." "No," said Rory, "I 
will not tru?t myself among such vermin : but I order you to siirrendei." A rifle was 
fired, the ball from which passed through his face, sideways, under his eyes. He stum- 
bled and fell backwards, but immediately recovered and retreated backwards, flourishing 
his sword. Several dropping shots followed. Jim called out, " Run, massa — de kill you." 
" Run, poor slave," says Rory. " Thou mayest run, but I am of a race that never runs." 
In rising fi-om the ground, Jim stated to me, his master, first putting his hand to one 
cheek, looked at his bloody hand, and then raising it to the other, jDerceived it also 
covered with blood. He backed safely into the lines." t 

t White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 472. New York, 1855. 


it entirely chimerical that Colonel Prevost is at the Meeting- 
House : but should it be so, we are in no degree appre- 
hensive of danger from a junction of his army with yours. 
We have no property compared with the object we con- 
tend for that we value a rush : — and would rather perish 
in a vigorous defence than accept of your proposals. We 
Sir, are fighting the battles of America, and therefore dis- 
dain to remain neutral till its fate is determined. As to 
surrendering the fort, receive this laconic reply : Come and 
TAKE IT."^" Major Lane, whom I send with this letter, is 
directed to satisfy you with respect to the irregular, loose 
firing mentioned on the back of your letter, 
" I have the honor to be Sir, 

" Your most obedient Servant, 

" John McIntosh, 

" Colonel of Continental Troops," 
In delivering this reply Major Lane informed Colonel 
Fuser that the irregular firing of which he complained was 
maintained to prevent the English troops from entering 
and plundering Sunbury. With regard to the threat that 
a house should be burned for every shot fired, Major Lane 
stated that if Col, Fuser sanctioned a course so inhuman, 
and so totally at variance with the rules of civilized warfare, 
he would assure him that Colonel Mcintosh, so far from 
being intimidated by the menace, would apply the torch at 
his end of the town, whenever Colonel Fuser fired the town 
on his side, "and let the flames meet in mutual confla- 
gration, "t 

* The Legislature of Georgia, in acknowledgment of the conspicuous gallantry of 
Colonel Mcintosh on this occasion, voted him a sword with the words Come and take it, 
engraven thereon, 
t See White's Historical Collections of Georgia, pp. 523, 524. New York, 1855. 
McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 155, 161. Savannah, 1816. 
Moultrie's Memoirs of the American Revolution, &c., vol. i, p. 189. New York, 1802, 


Instead of assaulting, Fuser hesitated and awaited a 
report from scouts whom he had sent into the country to 
ascertain the precise movements of Prevost and learn when 
his junction might be expected. That officer, as we have 
seen, unwilhng, after the affair near Midway Meeting House, 
to hazard an engagement with the Continental forces sup- 
posed to be advancing from the Great Ogeechee, and sur- 
prised at the non-appearance of Fuser before Sunbury, ^ 
had already commenced his retreat and was beyond the ' 
reach of easy communication. Surprised and chagrined 
at the intelligence, Fuser raised the siege, re-embarked his I 
troops, and returned to the St. Johns^ river, where he met 
the returned forces of Prevost. Mutual recriminations en- 
sued between these officers, each charging upon the other 
the responsibility of the failure of the respective expeditions. 
K-emembering the superior forces at command, it cannot be 
doubted that either singly or in conjunction Prevost and 
Fuser could have speedily occupied Sunbury and compelled 
a surrender of Fort Morris, had their operations been 
vigorously pressed. When we consider the paucity of Con- 
tinental troops and militia offering resistance to the invading 
column of the one, and the slender garrison opposed to 
the investing forces of the other, the small space and the 
short time to be overcome in accomplishing a junction, and 
the further fact that they both must have been aware of the 
near approach to Savannah of Colonel Campbell's expedi- 
tion from which these advances from Florida were distinctly 
intended to distract the attention of the Kevolutionists, 
we cannot but be surprised that Colonels Fuser and Prevost 
should thus have abandoned their enterprise when a con- 
summation was manifestly within easy grasp. Upon his 
retreat from Sunbury Colonel Fuser landed his British 


StNBIJKY. 193 

regulars at Frederica with instructions to repair and place 
in good defensive conditijon the military works which Gen- 
eral Oglethorpe had planned and erected at that point. 

Having collected his forces, Gen. Robert Howe marched 
to Sunbury. During his short stay there he did little 
more than point out and condemn the defenseless con- 
dition of the works, and memorialize Congress upon the 
dangers which threatened the Georgia coast, the lack of 
men and munitions of war, and the disorganization existing 
in his scattered army. He was one of those unfortunate 
officers who, lacking the energy and the ability to make 
the most of the resources at command, and harping upon 
the existence of defects and wants which inhered in the 
very nature of things, constantly clamored for the unat- 
tainable, indulged in frequent complaints, neglected careful 
organization, discipline and dispositions, and, on important 
occasions, became involved in unnecessary perplexities and 

Although relieved from the presence of the enemy, heavy 
shadows rested upon the inhabitants of St. John's parish."^ 
Desolation and ruin were on every hand. The gathered 
crops having been burnt, many were without sufficient 
means of subsistence, and not a few were compelled to 
look elsewhere for support. These tribulations, however, 

*The inhabitants of Sunbiiry seem, at times, to have been considerably annoyed by the 
lawless conduct of the troops quartered in their midst. So marked were these violations 
of good order, that General Howe on the 16th of January, 1778, deemed it proper to call 
attention to them in a General Order, from which we make the following extract : 

" Complaints have been made to the General that some of the Soldiers have injured the 
Buildings in the Town ; and his own observation convinces him that these complaints 
are but too well founded. Actions like these disgrace an army, and render it hateful. 
Any Soldier who either offers Insult or does Injury to the Persons or Property of the 
Inhabitants will be punished in the severest manner. And officers of every degree are 
injoined to exert themselves to prevent such Enormities for the future if possible, or to 
detect those who may commit them, that they may receive that punishment which such 
Actions so richly deserve. Officers of Companies are to take particular care that their 
men are made acquainted with this Order." 


were but an earnest of sadder ones soon to follow, — trials 
so grievous that patriotic hearts were well-nigh overborne 
at thought and apprehension of distresses almost beyond 
human endurance. These peoples, — the first of the Colony 
to declare for freedom, — were on the eve of passing under 
a yoke far more oppressive than that from which not three 
years before they had sought to escape, and their homes 
were to become so desolate that expatriation would be 
found preferable to a perplexing residence and distressful 
life in the region where they had garnered up present pos- 
sessions and future hopes.* 

The year 1778 closed gloomily upon the patriots in Geor- 
gia. Its capital fell before the advance of Colonel Campbell. 
General Howe's army, retiring in confusion and with much * 
loss, crossed the Savannah river at Sister's and Zubly's 
ferries and rendezvoused in South Carolina, leaving the 
newly born State entirely open to the enemy. While at 
Cherokee Hill, on his retreat. General Howe dispatched 
Lieutenant Tennill with orders to Major Joseph Lane com- 
manding at Sunbury to evacuate that post, and, retiring 
up the south side of Great Ogeechee river, to join the main 
army at Zubly's ferry. This order was received in ample 

*If we may credit a contemporary writer, the population of tlie Midway settlement 
was considerably demoralized. 

" Fields once her [Midway's] glory and her pride. 
Weeds, grass, and briars now do hide. 
And worst of villains make their home 
Where flames had happen'd not to come. 

"Instead of preaching, prayers, and praises. 
Now on the Gospel holy daj^s 
They race, and fight, and swear and game. 
Without regard to law or shame. 

" They arm'd, disgnis'd, with faces blacked. 
Do many villainies transact ;- 
The few, few honest that are here. 
Do often rob and put in fear." 

MS. DiART OF Benj'n Bakeb. 


time, if promptly obeyed, to have ensured the salvation 
of the garrison ; but Major Lane, moved by the persuasions 
of Captain Dollar, — commanding a company of artillery, — 
and the entreaties of the citizens of Sunbury, resolved to 
disregard the instructions of his General, and assumed the 
responsibility of remaining and defending the fort and 
town.* The account of the reduction of Fort Morris and 
the fall of Sunbury we give in the language of Captain 
McCall : 

" On the first notice of the arrival of the transports [con- 
veying Colonel Campbell's command,] off the coast of Geor- 
gia, General Prevost [then in Florida] marched ; and em- 
barked in boats, two thousand men, consisting of artillery, 
infantry, loyalists, and Indians. On the 6th of January, 
[1779] that part of his army which moved by water was 
landed on Colonel's island, seven miles south of Sunbury, 
about ten o'clock in the morning ; and Prevost with the 
light infantry, marched and took possession of the town 
early on the ensuing day. Two American gallies and an 
armed sloop cannonaded the enemy, but with little effect. 
The following day the main body of the enemy arrived. 
Every exertion was made to prevent the landing of the 
cannon and mortars near the town, by the fire from the 
gallies and the fort. On the night of the 8th they took 
advantage of the low tide to pass behind a marsh islandf 
opposite to the fort, with a few of their boats containing 
cannon, howitzers, and mortars, and landed them above 
the town and placed them on batteries previously prepared. 

*ror this disobedience of orders Major Lane was subsequently tried by a Court Martial 
and dismissed the service. 

McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, p. 177. Savannah, 1816. 

t This island lying in front of Sunbury, divides Midw^ay river into two channels known 
respectively as the front and back rivers. 


On the morning of the 9th Prevost summoned the fort to 
surrender unconditionally, accompanied by a statement of 
his force and the weight of his metal. Major Lane replied 
that his duty, inclination, and means pointed to the pro- 
priety of defending the post against any force however 
superior it might be. The British batteries of cannon and 
mortars were opened on the fort and replied to. Lane 
soon discovered that his fortress would not be long tenable, 
and began to repent his disobedience of orders. He parlied 
to obtain better terms than unconditional surrender, but 
no other would be allowed him : and the time having elapsed 
for his acceptance or refusal, hostilities recommenced. He 
parhed again and requested until eight o'clock the next 
morning to consider of the conditions offered to him, which 
being peremptorily refused, he assented to them and surren- 
dered the fort containing twenty-four pieces of artillery, 
ammunition, and provisions, and the garrison consisting of 
seventeen commissioned officers and one hundred and 
ninety-five non-commissioned officers and privates, including 
Continental troops and mihtia. The American loss was 
one Captain and three privates killed, and seven wounded. 
The British loss was one private killed and three wounded. 
"The Washington and Bulloch gaUies were taken to Os- 
sabaw island, stranded on the beach, and burned by their 
crews, who took passage on board of Captain Salter's 
sloop and sailed for Charleston, but were captui^ed by a 
British tender and taken to Savannah. Captain John Law- 
son, of the sloop Bebecca, of sixteen guns, put to sea 
and got safe to Charleston.""^ 

* McCaU's History of Georgia, vol. u, pp. 177, 179. Savannah, 1816. 

General Monltrie,* then at Purysburg. before the news of the surrender of Sunbiiry and 
its fort had reached him, wrote to Colonel Pinckney: "I fear we have lost Sunberry and 
the two gallies that took shelter under that battery, last Thursday or Friday, as we heard 



B After the fall of Sunburj the Continental officers cap- 
tured at Savannah were sent to that place on parole. 

When General Prevost, after the junction of his forces 
with those under Colonel Campbell, moved from the coast 
into the interior for the complete subjugation of Georgia, 
the command of Savannah and the adjacent country was 
confided to Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Innes. . Procla- 
mations of the most stringent character were issued by 
him, by Colonel Campbell, and by Sir Hyde Parker. The 
inhabitants were enjoined to collect their arms and accoutre- 
ments of every description, and surrender them to the mili- 
tary storekeeper. Should these have been concealed or 
buried, as was not infrequently the case, they were to be 
uncovered and brought in under pain of rigid search, ex- 
posing the delinquent to punishment as an enemy to the 
King. Special places were designated for the arrival and 
departure of boats and trading vessels ; and permits were 
required from the superintendents of such ports for the 
receipt or conveyance of property of any description. An 
infringement of these regulations worked confiscation of 
the goods, and punishment of the crews engaged. Peace, 
freedom, and protection were offered to all avIio would at 
once return to their allegiance and join the Eoyal standard. 
Three months were allowed for the incoming of the dis- 
affected and deserters, and Savannah was designated as 
the place where the oath of allegiance would be- adminis- 
tered. The proclamation of the 11th of January, 1779, 
was even more onerous. A reward of two guineas was 

a very heavy cannonade from that quarter. The officer commanding had about 120 Con- 
tinentals and some inhabitants within the fort, — refused to evacuate the post ; notwith- 
standing his receiving positive orders for that purpose he, Don Quixote-like, thought he 
was strong enough to withstand the whole force the British had in Georgia, for which, I 
think, he deserved to be hanged." 

* Memoirs of the American Eevolution, &c., vol. i, p. 259. New York, 1802. 


offered for the apprehension of every citizen still adhering 
to the Rebel cause, and ten guineas were promised upon 
the surrender of a Committee or Assembly man to any 
commanding officer of the King's garrisons. Prices were 
prescribed for all articles of merchandise and country pro- 
duce. Any deviation from this scale of prices was punished 
by the confiscation of the articles exposed for sale. Only 
to those who had resumed their allegiance to the Crown 
were permits to trade granted, and a fine of one hundred 
pounds sterling was collectible against any merchant deal-1 
ing with one not an acknowledged and loyal subject of 
the King. No produce could be exported except under a 
certificate of the superintendent of the port that it was 
not wanted for the use of the Royal troops. To the fami-' 
lies of those who maintained their devotion to the Rebel 
cause no mercy was shown. Stripped of property, — their 
homes rendered desolate, — often without food and cloth- 
ing, — they were thrown upon the charity of an impoverished 
neighborhood. The entire coast region of Georgia was 
now open, and the enemy overran and exacted the most 
stringent tribute. Many fled from St. John's parish and 
from Sunbury upon the first approach of Prevost. 

Writing from Purysburg on the 10th of January, 1779, 
to Colonel C. C. Pinckney, General Moultrie mentions the 
fact that thousands of poor women, children, and negroes 
were fleeing from Georgia, — they knew not whither ; — " sad 
spectacle that moved the hearts of his soldiers.""^' 

For the time being the parish of St. John was in a de- 
plorable condition. Multitudes of the inhabitants, unable 
to sustain themselves in the midst of the utter destitution 
which there prevailed, set out for Carolina, where they sub- 

* Memoirs of the American Revoltition, &c., vol. i, p. 259. New York, 1802. 


sisted upon the charity of others until the opening spring 
afforded an opportunity for planting crops in their new 
homes. Others, possessing the means of subsistence, were 
so oppressed by the operation of Royal proclamations and 
restrictions, that they abandoned the region, seeking refuge 
in other quarters. Sunbury suffered a material diminution 
of population, and never recovered from the shock then 

Although in the enemy's possession, and paralyzed by 
the onerous exactions then imposed. Southern Georgia did 
not wholly cease from offering resistance. Colonels Twiggs, 
Few, and Jones, closely watched the British outposts, cut- 
ting off supplies, and harrassing the garrisons whenever 
opportunity occurred. Along the sea-coast were found 
private armed vessels, in the service of the Revolutionists, 
engaged in the removal of Rebel property in the interest 
of the owners, and in capturing craft in the employ of 
the King. 

Ascertaining that some British officers had accepted an 
invitation from Mr. Thomas Young to dine with him at 
Belfast on the 4th of June, 1779, Captain Spencer, com- 
manding an American privateer, determined to surprise 
and capture the party. For this purpose, proceeding up 
Midway river in the evening, he landed between eight and 
nine o'clock at night, and, with twelve of his men, enter- 
ing the house, made Colonel Cruger and the English offi- 
cers at the table prisoners of war. Intending to carry off 
some negroes. Captain Spencer kept his prisoners under 
guard until morning when, having taken their paroles, he 
permitted them to return to Sunbury. Colonel Cruger was 
soon after exchanged for Colonel Mcintosh who had been 
captured at Briar Creek. 


On the 28tli of the same month Major Baker, advancing 
toward Sunbury, attacked and defeated a company of 
mounted recruits under Captain Goldsmith at the White- 
house. Several of the enemy were killed and wounded. 
Among the former was Lieutenant Gray, whose head was 
almost severed from his body by a sabre cut delivered 
by Robert Sallett. Major Baker entered Sunbury with- 
out opposition.* 

It was by these, and kindred partizan exploits, that the 
British troops at various detached posts were held in 
partial check, and the drooping spirits of the oppressed! 
inhabitants from time to time revived. 

Upon the appearance of Count D'Estaing's fleet off 
the coast of Georgia, General Augustine Prevost concen- 
trated as rapidly as he could within the lines around Sav- 
annah the various detachments on duty in the vicinity. 
That under Lieutenant Colonel Cruger, at Sunbury, was 
ordered in and reached Savannah on the 10th of Septem- 
ber, just two days prior to the landing of the French 
troops at Beaulieu. 

It does not lie within the compass of this sketch to 
recount the operations of the allied armies under Count 
D'Estaing and General Lincoln which culminated in that 
bloody and disastrous repulse on the morning of the 9th 
of October, 1779. Suffice it to say that Sunbury had her 
patriotic representatives among the troops commanded by 
General Lachlan Mcintosh, both during the progress of the 
siege and in the final assault. Two of them at least attested 
with their lives their supreme devotion to the patriot 
cause : — Major John Jones who had been for some years a 
resident of Sunbury, and who was at the time an aid 

* McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 235, 237. Savannah, 1816. 



SUI^BUEt. 201 

to General Mcintosh ; and Charles Price, formerly a prac- 
tising Attorney at Sunbury, and a young gentleman of 
promise in his profession.* 

Upon the repulse of the allied armies, and after the de- 
parture of Count D'Estaing, and the retreat of General 
Lincoln into Carolina, the condition of the sea-coast of 
Georgia was more pitiable than ever. Exasperated by the 
formidable demonstration, and rendered more arrogant and 
exacting, the Loyalists set out in every direction upon 
missions of insult, pillage, and inhumanity. Plundering 
banditti roved about unrestrained, seizing negroes, stock, 
furniture, wearing apparel, plate, jewels, and anything they 
coveted. Children were severely beaten to compel a revela- 
tion of the places where valuable property and money were 
concealed. In the language of Captain McCall,t " The 
militia who had been under the protection of the British, 
not allowing themselves to doubt of the success of the allied 
forces, cheerfully participated in a measure which promised 
the recovery of the State to the union. Future protection 
was not to be expected, and nothing remained for them 
but the halter and confiscation from the British or exile 
for themselves, and poverty and ill-treatment by an insolent 
enemy for their wives and children who were ordered forth- 
with to depart the country without the means for travelling 
or any other means but a reliance on charity for subsis- 
tence on their way. 

" The obscene language which was used, and personal in- 
sults which were offered to the tender sex, soon rendered 
a residence in the country insupportable. Having neither 
funds nor means of conveyance for themselves and children, 

*McCall's Georgia, vol. ii, pp. 270 and 271. Savannah, 1816. 

White's Historical Collections of Georgia, pp. 533, 537. New York, 1855. 
t History of Georgia, vol. ii, p. 283, et seq. Savannah, 1816. 


tliey were obliged to abandon the country under the most 
deplorable circumstances and seek a dependent residence 
in the adjoining States at the most inclement season of 
the year. Numbers whose former condition enabled them 
to make their neighboring visits in carriages, were obliged 
to travel on foot ; many of them without shoes, through 
muddy roads and deep swamps." 

Prominent among these raiding Tories was the renegade 

Under such depressing influences some portions of Lib- 
erty county were almost depopulated. Deprived of a 
support from the back-country, and with nothing to sus- 
tain commerce from abroad, Sunbury languished. Its de- 
cline, inaugurated when Prevost and Cruger demonstra- 
ted the insecurity of the position, and confirmed when Ma- 
jor Lane surrendered Fort Morris, was now day by day 
accelerated. All who could possibly get away fled the 
place, and those who remained led lives of disquietude, 
and penury. In the face of these difficulties, however. 
Commodore Oliver Bowen, Captains Spencer, Howell, Max- 
well, Pray, Hardy, Lawson, Stiles, and others owning pri- 
vate armed vessels, made frequent voyages along the coast, 
capturing parties who were engaged in collecting provisions 
for the British troops in Savannah and transporting them 
through the inland passages, removing the property of 
the Whigs from the down-trodden districts, and occasion- 
ally executing summary vengeance upon the crews of such 
craft as were known to be enployed upon missions of arson, 
robbery, and murder. Sometimes sharply contested naval 
engagements occurred, such as that between Captain Brad- 
dock with his two American gallies, and the brigantine, 
Dunmore, Captain Caldeleugh, mounting twelve guns. The 

SUNBURY. ■ 203 

Dunmore had sailed from Sunburj for Jamaica, and was 
attacked so soon as she crossed St. Catharine bar, on the 
18th of September, 1779. 

On the 4th of June of this year Captain Howell entered 
the inlet of Sunbury, and learned from a negro that he 
had been sent out to catch fish for Mr. Kitchins, the Col- 
lector of the port, with whom a party of British officers, 
both civil and military, were to dine that day, — it being 
the King's birthday. Although Mr. Kitchins' house was 
within four hundred yards of the fort, — now no longer called 
fort Morris, but named by its captors fort George in honor 
of his majesty, King George III, — presuming that the as- 
sembled guests on this festive occasion would indulge freely 
and be found entirely off their guard. Captain Howell re- 
solved upon their capture. Ascending the river with muffled 
oars, and under cover of the night, the Captain with twelve 
men passed the fort without attracting its notice, and, land- 
ing at Sunbury, surrounded the house about eleven o'clock 
and took the entire party, numbering twelve persons, prison- 
ers. Among the captured was Colonel Roger Kelsall, who 
had insulted and ill-treated Captain Howell while he was 
a prisoner of war. Incensed at the recollection of these 
indignities. Captain Howell was on the eve of taking him 
out and drowning him in the river, when the prayers of 
the lady of the house induced him to spare his life. Hav- 
ing exacted from his captives a pledge that they would 
not again take up arms until regularly exchanged, Cap- 
tain Howell returned, without loss or molestation, to his 

Upon the transfer of active operations to the Carolinas, 
Sunbury seems to have been but feebly garrisoned by the 
enemy. At times, and for a considerable portion of the 


year 1780, it appears doubtful whether any British force 
was there stationed. The Koyal army in Georgia was then 
so much reduced that the garrison at Savannah did not 
exceed five hundred men.^ 

The truth is, the available forces of the State had been 
so largely withdrawn for service elsewhere, the entire coast 
region was so thoroughly impoverished, and so many of the 
Whig families had moved away, that there was scarcely 
any necessity for maintaining this post except as a matter 
of convenience in keeping open the land communication 
between Savannah and St. Augustine. 

In this exhausted and comparatively quiet condition did 
matters remain until the close of the war. We are not 
aware that any events occurred in Sunbury, during the 
residue of the struggle, worthy of special mention or cal- 
culated to rouse the inhabitants from that quietude born 
of want and oppression, feebleness and present despair. 

The successes of General Greene in CaroHna enabled him 
to inaugurate such measures for the relief of Georgia that, 
in order to escape from the advancing and investing columns 
under General Wayne and Colonel Jackson, the British 
garrison embarked on the 11th of July, 1783, and Savannah, 
after having been more than four years and a half in the 
possession of the enemy, was formally surrendered to the 
Patriots who had already virtually achieved the indepen- 
dence of the thirteen Confederated States. 

Colonel James Jackson was designated by General Wayne 
as the officer to receive the surrender of the town ; — a 
compliment well merited in view of the patriotism and 
gallantry which had distinguished him during the whole 

* See letter of Sir James Wright to Lord George Grermain, under date Savannah, 20th 
August, 1780. 
Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. ni, p. 314. Savannah, 1873. 


war, and in recognition of the recent active and hazardous 
service performed by his command while operating in ad- 
vance of the army of occupation. 

Georgia's losses, particularly along her south-eastern 
borders, had been very great. Her slave population, al- 
though quiet during the struggle, was essentially demoralized 
and reduced. It is estimated that between the 12th and 
25th of July, 1783, not less than five thousand negroes made 
their escape from Savannah in sailing vessels. Upon the 
cessation of hostilities the agricultural and commercial in- 
terests of the State were in a most disastrous situation. 
Particularly was this the case in Liberty county where 
negroes and property of every description had been, from 
time to time during the continuance of the struggle, carried 
off, patriotic citizens driven into exile, plantations burned 
and converted into waste places, and the seeds of poverty 
and distress sown broadcast. 

On the first Monday in August, 1783, Governor Martin 
convened the Legislature in Savannah. Courts of Justice 
were re-established, commissioners of confiscated estates 
appointed, and measures adopted for the rehabilitation of 
the State. It was not, however, until the assembling of the 
Constitutional Convention on the first Monday in January, 
1784, when Lyman Hall was appointed Governor, George 
Walton, Chief Justice ; Samuel Stirk, Attorney General ; 
John Milton, Secretary of State ; John Martin, Treasurer, 
and Eichard Call, Surveyor General, that the machinery of 
reconstruction was fully set in motion. 

With the incoming of peace many who had been absent 
in the army, and others who had sought, in South Caro- 
lina and elsewhere, temporary refuge from the devastations 
of the war, returned to their former homes in Sunbury 


and on tlie adjacent plantations, and entered with becom- 
ing spirit and energy upon the labor of rebuilding and re- 
peopling the desolated region. For a season it seemed as 
if the prosperit}^ of this seaport would be revivjed. Not- 
a few of its inhabitants, however, having, during the con- 
tinuance of hostilities, formed settlements elsewhere, de- 
termined to remain where they were, and so the ante bel- 
lum population was by no means regained. Others had 
died, and others still in their places of retreat found 
themselves so impoverished that they could not command 
the means requisite for a removal. 

The first session of the Superior Court of Liberty county 
was held at Sunbury on the 18th of November, 1783, — 
their Honors, Chief Justice George Walton, and Assist- 
ant Judge Benjamin Andrew, Senior, presiding. On the 
20th, the Grand Jury being empanneled and sworn, the 
Chief Justice delivered a charge in which, — having alluded 
to the fact that good order and subordination had every- 
where characterized the courts presided over by him on 
this his first riding since the close of the war, and assur- 
ed them that nothing could so much contribute to con- 
firm the blessings of peace as an observance of the laws 
which had for their sole object the general happiness of 
the people,^ — he spoke as follows: "I congratulate you, 
gentlemen, on the news of a definitive treaty of peace by 
which our freedom, sovereignty, and independence are se- 
cured. The war which produced it was one of necessity 
on our part. That we were enabled to prosecute it with 
firmness and perseverance to so glorious an issue, should 
be ascribed to the protecting influence of the Great Dis- 
poser of events, and be a subject of grateful praise and 
adoration. While the result of the contest is so honour- 


able and advantageous to ns and to posterity, it is to be 
lamented that those moral and religious duties so essential 
to the order of society and the permanent happiness of 
mankind, have been too much neglected. To recover them 
into practice, the life and conduct of every good man should 
be a constant example. Your temples, which the profane 
instruments of a tyrant laid in ashes, should be built 
again : for nothing tends to harmonize the rude and un- 
learned organs of man more than frequent meetings in 
the places of holy worship. Let the monument of your 
brave and virtuous soldier and citizen," which was ordered 
by Congress to his memory, be erected on the same 
ground, that his virtues and the cause in which he sacrificed 
his life may be seen together by your children and re- 
membered through distant ages.f 

" In the course of the conflict with an enemy whose con- 
duct was generally marked with cruelty, the whole State 
has suffered undoubtedly more than any in the Confed- 
eracy. The citizens of Liberty County, with others, have 
drunk deep in the stream of distress. Remembering these 
things, we should not lose sight of the value of the prize 
we have obtained. And now that w^e are in full possession 
of our freedom, w^e should all unite in our endeavours to 
benefit and perpetuate the system, that we may always be 
happy at home and forever freed from the insults of petty 
tyrants commissioned from abroad.":]: 

The grand jurors to whom this charge was delivered, 
were Joseph Law, William Baker, Senior, James Maxwell 
James Jeffries, John Mitchell, Junior, Palmer Goulding, 

* General James Screven, who fell in tlie skirmish near Midway Meeting House, 
t This monument has never been reared. The obligation is as binding now as when 
thus solemnly recognized. 
_ + Quoted in White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 530. New York, 1855. 


John Elliott, Jolin Whitehead, Wilham West, Thomas 
Bradwell, William Peacock, Senior, Nathan Taylor, John 
Hardy, Wilham Baker, Junior, Nathaniel Saxton, James 
Powell, William Way, John Myers, Senior, John Way, John 
Winn, Edward Way, Joseph Way, and William Quarter man. 

By an act approved the 26th of February, 1784, Sunbury 
was designated as the place for holding the Superior and 
Inferior Courts of Liberty Count}^ They were there held 
until, by the act of 1797, Biceborough was made the county 

On the 10th of Februarj', 1787, John Baker, John Hardy, 
and Alexander Mclver were, by the Legislature, appointed 
Commissioners for the port of Simbury, and were invested 
with powers similar to those conferred in and by the law 
regulating the pilotage of Savannah. 

For the better encouragement of trade, the Governor 
was authorized to draw on the treasurer of the State in 
favor of the Commissioners for the port of Sunbury for 
£100. The act further appointed a harbor and tonnage 
master, and provided for the collection of tonnage duties, 
and an additional sixpence to be levied and set apart for 
erecting lighthouses and supporting pilots. 

Commerce revi^'ed to a considerable extent, but the trade 
of Sunbury did not reach that activity or volume which 
existed at the inception of the Bevolutionary war. 

The Indians were still troublesome on occasions, coming 
from beyond the Alatamaha in predatory bands and making 
short but sometimes cruel inroads into the white settlements 
On the 24th of October, 1787, a man was scalped within 
eighteen miles of Sunbury, and on the 9th of the follow- 
ing January, Rogers, Queeling, and Bennett were killed and 

* See Watkins' Digest, pi3. 298, 618. 


scalped within the limits of the Midway settlement, by a 
party of Indians. During this year skirmishes occurred 
with the Indians at Phinholloway creek and at Shepherd's 
plantation. On the first of May the savages attacked Mr. 
Girardeau's plantation, carrying off some of his negroes, 
and wounding a young man named Smallwood. Seven days 
afterwards they appeared at Colonel Maybank's plantation 
and captured a number of his slaves. At Sapelo a young 
man was killed by them while milking his cow. On the 
6th of June, on the plantation of John Houstoun, Esq., 
McOormick was killed by the Indians, his son scalped, and 
three of his daughters and a little boy carried into captivity. 
In September, thirteen negroes were stolen by them from 
Mr. Quarterman's plantation. Captain Sumner and Liputen- 
nant Burnley pursued and overtook them in a swamp on 
Taylor's creek. The Indians fled and the negroes were 

The militia of the county was constantly on duty to repel 
these incursions, and the citizens generally went armed to 
church to guard against surprises. To assist the militia, 
the inhabitants of Liberty County, at their own charge, 
placed and maintained in service for three months " a com- 
pany of Horsemen" under the command of Captain Elijah 
Lewis. This troop acted as scouts. In September, 1788, 
a "Body of Light Horse," — consisting of a captain, two 
lieutenants, two sergeants, and forty privates, — was raised 
for the defense of the county, and supported by the volun- 
tary subscriptions of the inhabitants. It was commanded 
by Captain Rudolph, and subsequently by Lieutenant 
Whitehead. This company was paid off and disbanded 
at Newport Bridge [afterwards called Eiceborough] on the 

* See White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 528. New York, 1855. 


28th of March, 1789 : — six privates and one sergeant being 
retained in service to act as scouts.^ 

In these matters of home defense, and in the subsequent 
mihtary service which, rendered necessary in 1793, was 
continued until, by the treaty of Colerain, a peace was con- 
cluded with the Indians, the citizens of Sunbury bore their 
full part. 

On the 8th of December, 1791, an act was adopted en- 
titled " An act for the better regulating of the town of Sun- 
bury, "t Until its passage no legislative provision had been 
made for the incorporation or government of this town, 
then in the thirty-third year of its existence. 

The general provisions of that act were as follows : On 
the second Monday in January next ensuing, and on the 
second Monday in January in every third year thereafter, 
all proprietors of lots or houses in the town of Sunbury, 
of full age, were required to meet at the place of holding 
the courts in said town and, under the direction of two or 
more justices of the peace for the county of Liberty, pro- 
ceed to ballot for five persons, — each of whom should be 
the proprietor of a house or lot in Sunbury, and an in- 
habitant thereof, and of full age, — who should be styled 
"Commissioners of the Town of Sunbury." 

On the Monday next following such election it was made 
the duty of these Commissioners, or a majority of them, 
to assemble and appoint a clerk and such other officers 
as they might regard as proper and necessary for the ex- 
ecution of the provisions of the act. 

Full power was lodged with these Commissioners to 

*See Historical Address before the Liberty Independent Troop by the Rev. Dr. Charles 
Colcock Jones, pp. 10, 11. Savannah, 1856. 
tSee Watkins' Digest, p. 431. 

Marbiu'y and Crawford's Digest, pp. 128, 129. 


make sucli by-laws and regulations, and impose such pains, 
penalties, and forfeitures as they might deem conducive 
to the good order and government of the town, provided 
the same were not repugnant to the constitution and laws 
of the State, and did not extend to life or member. 

By the third section the Commissioners, or a majority 
of them, were required "yearly and every year to make, 
lay, and assess a rate or assessment upon all and every 
person or persons who do or shall inhabit, hold, use, 
occupy, possess, or enjoy any lot, ground, house, building, 
tenement, or hereditament within the limits of the town 
of Sunbury, for raising such sum or sums of money as the 
said Commissioners or a majority of them shall judge neces- 
sary for and towards carrying this act into execution : and 
in case of a refusal or neglect to pay such rate or assess- 
ment, the same shall be levied and recovered by warrant 
of distress and sale of the offender's goods, under the 
hands and seals of the said Commissioners or a majority 
of them, or under the hand and seal of any justice of the 
peace for the County of Liberty." 

The concluding section appointed such Commissioners 
superintendents of pilotage for the port of Sunbury, and 
invested them with the power and authority of Justices 
" so far as to keep the peace and preserve good order in 
the said town." 

By the act of December 12th, 1804,"^ it was provided 
that the election of Commissioners should occur annually 
on the first Monday of August, and be held in the Sunbury 

The Justices of the Peace of Liberty County having 
"neglected to hold an election for Commissioners for the 

* Clayton's Digest, p. 213. 


town of Sunburj, to the great injury of said town," the 
Legislature on the 2d of December, ISOS,"^ directed the 
Justices of the Inferior Court of Liberty County "to call 
an election for that purpose, giving ten days notice of the 
same at the most public place in the town." 

In case of failure, at any time thereafter, to elect Com- 
missioners on the day appointed, it was made the duty of 
the Inferior Court, when notified of the fact, to advertise 
an election. 

This is all the legislation appearing on the Statute books 
with reference to the government of the town of Sunbury. 
These Commissioners continued to hold office in a quiet 
way, — looking after the police and order of the town, — until 
about the year 1825, when elections went by default, and 
such of the citizens as remained, by common consent man- 
aged their premises each after his own fashion, having the 
taller weeds in the streets and along the Bay " chopped 
down " at irregular intervals, and permitting the cows and 
the Bermuda grass to strive for the mastery in the lanes 
and upon the common. 

In 1801 Sunbury was described as " a seaport in Liberty 
County, favoured with a safe and convenient harbour," as 
being "a very pleasant, healthy place," and promising 
without doubt to become "a port of commercial conse- 
quence." "It is resorted to," says Sibbald, "by many 
persons during the Summer months ; it has an Academy 
under an able instructor. "f 

The most famous institution of learning in Southern 
Georgia, for many years, was the Sunbury Academy. It 
was established by an act of the Legislature assented to 

* Clayton's Digest, p. 243. 

t "Notes and Observations on tlie Pine Lands of Georgia," &c., p. 65. Augusta, 1801. 


the first of February, 1788.* Abiel Holmes, James Dun- 
wody, John Elliott, Gideon Dowse, and Peter "Winn were 
nominated in the act as Commissioners. To them, or a 
majority of them, was authority given to sell at public 
sale, poud upon previous notice of thirty days in one of the 
gazettes of the State, any confiscated property within the 
county of Liberty to the amount of XI, 000. This sum, 
when realized, was to be by them expended in the con- 
struction of a building suitable for the purposes of the 
Academy. Each Commissioner w^as required to execute a 
bond, in favor of the Governor of Georgia, in the penalty 
of £1,000, conditioned for the faithful performance of the 
trust. In 1803 the number of Commissioners was increased 
to seven, but two years afterwards the Legislature directed 
a return to the original number, which was five.f 

As late as December 4th, 1811, the Legislature directed 
a grant and conveyance to the Commissioners of Suiibury 
Academy, for the sole use and benefit of that institution, 
of one-third of a tract of land adjoining Sunbu.ry, known 
as the Distillery Tract ; the same having been confiscated 
as the estate of Roger Kellsall, and being then the prop- 
erty of the State. 

The administration of the affairs of this academy dur- 
ing the long course of its valuable existence appears at 
all times to have been conducted by its trustees with 
prudence and skill. Certain it is that until the marked 
decadence of Sunbury this institution maintained an en- 
viable reputation, and attracted scholars in no inconsid- 
erable numbers from various portions of the State, and 
even from sister States. The teacher whose name is for 

* Watkins' Digest, p. 380. 

t Clayton's Digest, pp. 115, 246. 


tlie longest period and most notably associated with the 
management of this Academy, and who did more than all 
others to establish a standard of scholarship and main- 
tain rules of study and discipline unusual in that period 
and among these peoples, was the Reverend Dr. William 
McWhir. Great was the obligation conferred upon the 
youths of Southern Georgia, for certainly two genera- 
tions, by this competent instructor and rigid disciplina- 
rian. A native of Ireland, a graduate of Belfast College, 
and licensed to preach by the Presbytery of that city, he 
came to America in 1783 and settled in Alexandria, Virginia. 
There, for ten years he was the Principal of the Academy of 
which General Washington was a trustee. He was fre- 
quently a guest at Mount Yernon, enjoying the hospitality 
of that noted mansion. On one occasion while he was 
dining with the family. General Washington, as his custom 
was, asked the usual blessing. Mrs. Washington, somewhat 
surprised that Mr. McWhir had not been invited to do this, 
remarked to General Washington, " You forgot that we had 
a clergyman at table with us to-day." "No, madam," he 
replied, " I did not forget. I desire clergymen, as well as 
all others, to see that I am not a graceless man." 

About 1793 he removed to Sunbury where he became 
the Principal of the Academy and, for nearly thirty years, 
made it the leading institution of learning in this entire 
region. A thorough Greek, Latin, and English scholar, an 
uncompromising observer of prescribed regulations, and a 
firm believer in the virtue of the birch as freely applied in 
those days in the English and Irish schools in which he had 
received his training, he was a terror to all dolts and delin- 
quents. To the studious and the ambitious, he always 
proved himself a generous instructor, full of suggestion and 


encouragement. The higher branches of mathematics were 
also taught ; and, as a preparatory school, this institution, 
under his guidance, had no superior within the limits of the 
State. The average attendance was about seventy. Pupils 
were attracted not only from Liberty, but also from the 
adjacent counties of Chatham, Bryan, Mcintosh, and Glynn. 
Some came fronL even greater distances. Two generations 
sat at the feet of this venerable preceptor. Fathers and 
sons in turn responded to his nod, and feared his frown. 

" A man severe lie was, and stern to view," 

so impartial was he in the support of whatever was just 
and of good report, and so competent and thorough as a 
teacher, that for more than a quarter of a century his 
numerous pupils found in him, above all others, their 
mentor, guide, and helper in the thorny paths of knowledge. 
Strongly did he impress his character and influence upon 
the generations in which he lived, and his name and acts are 
even now well remembered. The evening of his days was 
spent, as inclination prompted, at the residences of his old 
scholars, by whom a cordial welcome was always extended. 
That welcome was recognized by him as peculiarly genuine 
and agreeable when accompanied by a generous supply of 
buttermilk and a ,good glass of wine. The latter might be 
dispensed with : a failure to provide the former was, in his 
eyes, an unpardonable breach of hospitality, and materially 
impaired the comfort of his sojourn, and the tranquility of 
the venerable guest. 

Among the other teachers at this Academy may be men- 
tioned Mr. James E. Morris, the Eev. Mr. Lewis, the Kev. 
Mr. Shannon, the Eev. Mr. Thomas Goulding, Uriah Wil- 
cox, Eev. Mr. John Boggs, Captain William Hughes, Mr. 


C. G. Lee, Eev. A. T. Holmes, Rev. S. G. Hillyer, Major 
John Winn, Mr. W. T. Feay, and Mr. Oliver W. Stevens. 
The building — a large two story and a half double wooden 
house, about sixty feet square and located in King's Square, — 
was pulled down and sold some time about the year 1842. 

As early as 1797 it being manifest that the population of 
the town was steadily decreasing, and that its commercial 
importance could not be reestablished, it was resolved by a 
large majority of the citizens of Liberty that Sunbury, — the 
then seat of justice, — was inconveniently situated for con- 
ducting the public business, and that North New Port 
Bridge was the most eligible location for the Court House 
and Jail. Matthew McAllister, Esq. had very generously 
offered to convey in fee simple, for public uses, a piece 
of ground two hundred and thirty feet in length and one 
hundred and fift}" feet in width, situated near " the Bridge," 
without "price or consideration other than a wish on his 
part to promote the growth of the town of Riceborough 
and benefit the inhabitants thereof." The middle and 
upper portions of the county had by this time the con- 
trolling vote in public matters, and the Legislature was 
memorialized, in opposition to the feebler will of the resi- 
dents of Sunbury and its vicinity, to authorize a removal 
of the seat of justice. Accordingly, on the 1st of February, 
1797, an act was passed appointing Thomas Stevens, Daniel 
Stewart, Peter Winn, Joel Walker, and Henry Wood, Com- 
missioners to superintend the admeasurement of the land 
offered by Mr. McAllister, receive the titles therefor, and 
erect thereon and keep in repair a Court House and Jail for 
the County of Liberty. The act further provided that after 
its passage " all courts and elections heretofore held, and all 
public business heretofore transacted at said town of Sun- 

StJNBUEt. ^17 

bury, should be held and transacted at the said town of 
Eiceborough," to which place the County offices and records 
were to be removed.^ 

Riceborough was a more convenient point for shipping 
to Savannah the rice, cotton, and agricultural products of 
the County, and was much more central for the facile con- 
vocation of the citizens and the transaction of public busi- 
ness. Sunbury, however, still remained the favorite resort 
of the wealthier planters during the summer months, and 
maintained a permanent population of perhaps four hun- 
dred. The hurricane of 1804, with its wild devastations, 
begat a sense of insecurity in the minds of not a few dwellers 
on the coast, and to some extent diminished the population 
of the town. Soon afterwards, Bermuda grass began to 
overspread the bluff and cover, with its deep mat, the 
streets and lanes. With its importation the health of the 
place became sensibly affected. Chills and high grades of 
billions fever grew frequent in the fall of the year, and from 
time to time removals occurred to healthier localities. 
Many citizens still clung to their old homes rendered so 
pleasant by the refreshing sea-breezes and the never-failing 
stores of the waters and the orchards, and Sunbury for 
many years continued to be the abode of culture, hospi- 
tality, and ease. Then came the hurricane of 1824 blowing 
down out-houses, bearing away fences, bringing in the sea 
in great masses, and carrying fear to many, and even death 
to some who resided at exposed points. The wild indigo 
disappeared more rapidly than ever, and the dark Bermuda 
grass asserted its dominion on every hand. From the 
numerous cattle accustomed to feed upon its common and 
wander through its streets and lanes, and from the refuse 

*See Watkins' Digest, p. 618. 


of the town, now no longer new, the original sandy soil 
became saturated with fertilizing matter, and grew rich. 
Thence, under the heat of autumnal suns, year by year rose 
exhalations annually more and more prejudicial to health. 
Chills and fevers were more frequent, and Sunbury proved 
less and less attractive as a summer resort. In 1829 Sher- 
wood describes the town as having *' a flourishing academy, 
a house of worship for the Baptists, twenty dwelling houses, 
two stores, three offices, and a population of one hundred 
and fifty."- 

Ten years before, the Sunbury Female Asylum had been 
incorporated by the Legislature of Georgia. t Supported by 
the generous charities of kind hearted women, it never en- 
joyed a vigorous existence, and after some years suffered a 
languishing death. 

Although by resolutions adopted on the 18th of November, 
1812, and the 12th of November, 1813, the Legislature pro- 
vided for stationing troops in the counties of Bryan, Liberty, 
Mcintosh, Glynn, and Camden, for the protection of the 
sea-coast of Georgia, it does not appear that any permanent 
detail was made for Sunbury. The fort, however, was again 
placed in tolerable condition, the planters furnishing the 
labor requisite for cleaning out the ditch, strengthening 
the parapet, and mounting such guns as there remained and 
were deemed trustworthy. A few light pieces were obtained 
from Savannah and added to the armament. Such gun- 
carriages as were manufactured in the county were made 
by Jonathan Goulding, of Taylor's Creek. Not a shot, how- 
ever, was fired from the fort during the war of 1812-1815. 

Although British vessels of war were constantly upon 

* Gazetteer of the State of Georgia. Philadelphia, 1829. 
t Lamar's Digest, p. 84. 



the coast, and the smoke of merchantmen captured, robbed, 
and burnt by them was on several occasions seen from 
Sunburj, the enemy never ascended Midway river. A 
company composed of the citizens of the town and its 
vicinity, numbering some forty men and commanded by the 
honorable John A. Cuthbert, and another company con- 
sisting of the larger boys then students at the Sunbury 
Academy, and under the command of Captain [afterwards 
Brigadier General] Charles Floyd, were formed for local 
defense, drilled at regular intervals, and held themselves 
in readiness to act as occasion might require. 

Besides these, there were then three volunteer companies 
in Liberty County : the Liberty Independent Troop, — Cap- 
tain Joseph Jones, — and two infantry companies, com- 
manded respectively by Captains Robert Quarterman and 
John "Winn. "The Guards," under Captain Winn, were 
at one time stationed at Hardwick, in Bryan County. 

After his defeat at Point Peter, Captain Jones' cavalry 
company and the Bifle company of Captain Quarterman 
were ordered to the relief of Major Messias. They were 
for some time on duty at Darien. 

The militia of the County being well organized and 
efficiently officered, was largely engaged in maintaining a 
careful watch along the coast. In this service assistance 
was rendered by barges and cutters from the American 
Navy, which patrolled Midway river and the adjacent inlets, 
and not infrequently established their headquarters at 
Sunbury. The " Committee of Safety " for Liberty County, 
during the war, consisted of General Daniel Stewart, Wil- 
liam Fleming, John Winn, John Stacy, John Elliott, John 
Stevens, and Joseph Law. These gentlemen were author- 
ized to take general charge of the local defense, and to call 


upon the citizens of the County for such labor as appeared 
necessary. In case of a refusal on the part of any one to 
respond to the requisition, they were instructed to advertise 
the name of such dehnquent in the most frequented places, 
that he might be held up to public contempt "for having 
disgraced the character of the citizen and the patriot." 

This Committee assured General C. C. Pinckney of their 
ability and willingness to repair and garrison the Fort at 
Sunbury, and made requisition upon him for two 18-pounder 
guns and a suitable supply of ammunition. In its re-* 
modeled condition, the fortification at Sunbury received 
at the hands of the Committee of Safety a new name, — 
"Fort Defence." As being more easily defended, and re- 
quiring a smaller garrison, General Pinckney suggested the 
erection of a tower for the protection of Sunbury. This 
project, however, was never consummated. 

The last vessel of any moment, which Adsited the town, 
was a Swedish brig which, in 1814, came in and conveyed 
away a load of cotton. Mr. James Holmes was the last 
Collector of the port ; and for many years prior to his death 
the office was a mere sinecure. Subsequently a Surveyor 
was appointed by the General Government whose principal 
duty was to sign blank reports and draw his quarterly 
salary. The last person who held this office was the genial 
Colonel William Maxwell. 

Until 1833, the Liberty Independent Troop, — the oldest 
volunteer military organization within the limits of Georgia 
except the Chatham Artillery, — celebrated the fourth of 
July each year at Sunbury. This company was then the 
guest of the town, and the recipient of every welcome 
and hospitality. The morning was spent in military ex- 
ercises, in contentions at the head, ring, and target, and 


the afternoon was crowned with a public dinner replete 
with good cheer and patriotic speeches. This annual 
parade was the event of the year in that quiet community. 
On such occasions the U. S. Revenue Cutters stationed 
on the coast would generally come up to the town by special 
invitation, and participate in the festivities. 

The summer retreats established at Jonesville, Fleming- 
ton, Hinesville, and Dorchester, compassed the depopulation 
of the old town. Without trade, destitute of communica- 
tions, and visited more and more each season with fevers, 
Sunbury, for nearly thirty years, has ceased to exist save 
in name. Its squares, lots, streets, and lanes have been 
converted into a corn field. Even the bricks of the ancient 
chimneys have been carted away. No sails whiten the 
blue waters of Midway river save those of a miserable little 
craft employed by its owner in conveying terrapins to 
Savannah, The old cemetery is so overgrown with trees 
and brambles that the graves of the dead can scarcely be 
located after the most diligent search. Fort Morris is 
enveloped in a wild growth of cedars and myrtle. Academy, 
churches, market, billiard room, wharves, store-houses, resi- 
dences, all gone ; only the bold Bermuda covered bluff and 
the beautiful river with the green island slumbering in its 
embrace to remind us of this lost town. A stranger pausing 
here would find no trace of the past once full of life and 
importance, but now existent only in ,the skeleton memories 
which redeem place and name from that oblivion which 
sooner or later is the common lot of all things human. The 
same bold bluff, — the same broad expanse of marshes 
stretching onward to the confines of the broad Atlantic, — 
the same blue outlines of Colonel's island and the Bryan 
shore, — the same sea-washed beach of St. Catherine, — the 


same green island dividing the river as it ebbs and flows 
with ever restless tide, — the same soft sea-breezes, — the 
same bright skies, — the same sweet voices and tranquil 
scene which nature gave and stiU perpetuates, — but all else 
how changed ! Truly " oblivion is not to be hired." Blindly 
scattering her poppy she deals with places as with men, and 
they become as though they had not been. Strange that 
a town of such repute, and within the confines of a young 
and prosperous commonwealth, should have so utterly faded 
from the face of the earth ! 

" The garden with its ai'bor — gone, 
And gone the orchard green ; 
A shattered chimney stands alone. 
Possessor of the scene." 

It is with pleasurable sadness and. filial reverence that 
we have brought together these fragmentary memories of 
a place once the abode of so much refinement, intelligence, 
hospitality and patriotism, — the home of Lyman Hall and 
Button Gwinnett, — signers of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, — of John Elliott and Alfred Cuthbert, — United States 
Senators from Georgia, — and of John A. Cuthbert, mem- 
ber of Congress, — the birth-place of William Law, — the 
accomplished lawyer, upright judge, and courtly gentle- 
man, — and of John E. Ward, — the eloquent advocate, 
speaker of the House of Representatives, president of the 
Georgia Senate, and United States Minister to China, — 
for some years the residence of Bichard Howley and Nathan 
Brownson, Governors of Georgia, — claiming intimate asso- 
ciation with the Beverend Moses Allen, Benjamin Baker, 
Colonels William and John Baker, General Daniel Stewart, 
Colonel John Mcintosh, and Major John Jones, patriots 
all, who risked fortune and life in support of the primal 
struggle for independence, — the scene of the professional 



labors of Doctors Dunwoody, Alexander, and West, — and 
numbering among its citizens clergymen, teachers, physi- 
cians, lawyers, merchants, and planters, whose influence 
was appreciated in their day and generation, and whose 
names, if here repeated, would challenge respect and 

Nature survives, but nearly all the rest is shadow. In 
this humid soil so fecund with vegetation, neglected grave- 
stones, — covered with brambles and overturned by envious 
forest trees, — "tell truth scarce forty years." 



During his tour of inspection in 1755, Governor Keynolds 
was so much pleased with the natural advantages of the 
Great Ogeechee river, that he selected a bluflf upon its 
right bank, some fourteen miles from the sea, as a loca- 
tion for a new town, which, in honor of his relative the 
Lord High Chancellor of England, he named Hardwick. 

In his letter to the Board of Trade he says : " Hardwicke 
has a charming situation, the winding of the river making 
it a peninsula ; and it is the only fit place for the capital.""" 
There are many objections to this town of Savannah being 
so, besides its being situated at the extremity of the prov- 
ince, the shoalness of the river, and the great height of the 
land, which is very inconvenient in the loading and un- 
loading of ships. Many lots have already been granted 
in Hardwicke, but only one house is yet built there; and 
as the pro^once is unable to be at the expence of erecting 
the necessary pubhc buildings, and the annual sum of X500 
allowed for erecting and repairing pubhc works, entertain- 

*To Mr. Gr. W. J. DeRenne are we indebted for the following memoranda from H. 'M. 
Public Record OflBice, Georgia, Vol. 35, B. T., touching the primal settlement, and naming 
of Hardwick : 

" May 13, 175i.— The Neck of Land called the Elbow on Great Ogeechee River— which 
(on the 10th Day of this Month) they had named George-Town." 

"4: Feb., 1755. — His Excellency was pleased (with the approbation of the Board) to name 
the Town lately laid out at a Place commonly called the Elbow on Great Ogeechee River, 

" Minutes of the Proceedings of Vie Governor in Council." 





ing Indians, and other incidental expenses being insuffi- 
cient for all those purposes, I am in hopes your Lordships 
will think proper to get a sufficient sum allowed for erect- 
ing a Court-House, an Assembly-House, a Church, and a 
Prison at Hardwick; which will be such an encourage- 
ment to private people to build there as will soon make it 
fit for the seat of government to the universal benefit of 
the province."* 

Upon the agitation of this project to transfer the capi- 
tal of the colony from Savannah to the Great Ogeechee,t 
twenty-seven lots were quickly taken up in the town of 
Hardwick, and twenty-one thousand acres of land in its 
vicinity were granted to various parties who favored and 
promised to develop the enterprize. DeBrahm proposed 
that the place should be fortified by the erection of three 
polygons, six hundred feet each, and three detached 
bastions, to be armed with twenty-five cannon ; and 
suggested a garrison of one hundred and fifty men.:]: 

The Home Government neglecting to furnish the neces- 
sary funds, and Governor Reynolds being without the 
means requisite to compass the contemplated change, his 
scheme of transferring the seat of government to Hard- 
wick was never consummated, and the town, deprived of 
its anticipated dignity and importance, developed simply 
into a little trading village adapted to the convenience of 

* Board of Trade. V. 167. 

Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 405, 406. New York, 1847. 

White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 183. New York, 1855. 

tTMs river was then called the Gbeat Hogohechie, which responds more nearly to its 
original Indian name than the appellation subseqiiently adopted. 

t See Plans and Elevations of the Forts necessary in Georgia, forwarded with Governor 
Reynolds' letter of the 5th of January, 1756, and now of file in the Public Record 
Ofi&ce, London; Maps B. T., vol. xiii, No. 14. 



the few who there located and cultivated lands in the 

By DeBrahm^ it was reckoned among the five sea-port 
towns of the province. Although for many years a port 
of entry, its commerce was wholly domestic and coastwise, 
being chiefly confined to the conveyance of the products 
of the region, in small vessels, to Savannah, and the trans- 
portation, in return, of such articles and suppHes as were 
needed by the planters. 

By the act of the 15th of March, 1758,t dividing Geor- 
gia into eight parishes, " the town of Hardwick and 
district of Ogechee on the south side of the river Great 
Ogechee, extending north west up the said river as far 
as the lower Indian trading path leading from Mount 
Pleasant, and southward from the town of Hardwick 
as far as the swamp of James Dunham, including the 
settlements on the north side of the north branches 
of the river Midway, with the islands of Ossabaw, and 

HTlie design of transferring the Capital of the Colony from Savannah to Hardwick, 
conceived by G-overnor Keynolds, was adhered to by his successor. Governor Ellis. 
"The depth of water in the river, its more central position, its greater distance from 
Charleston — the proximity to which, he argued, restricted the commerce of Savannah — 
the convenience of its harbour as a naval station, and the fertility of its adjacent lands, 
were the principal motives which operated with him to enforce the plan suggested by 
his predecessor. As a consequence of clinging to this scheme of removal, Governor 
Reynolds had neglected repairing the .public buildings of Savannah, and its inhabitants 
had ceased enlarging and beautifying a town so soon to be deserted. The Filature 
was out of repair, the Church was so decayed that it Avas only kept from falling down 
by surrounding it with props, and the prison 'was shocking to humanity.' 

" The removal of the Seat of Government to Hardwicke, which had received the 
favorable notice of former Governors, was discouraged by Sir James Wright, who argued 
that if the object of a removal was to obtain a more central position, Hardwicke was 
too near ; while, on the other hand, a removal there would be very disadvantageous 
to the present capital which was conveniently settled for intercourse with the Indians 
and for trade with South Carolina. The project was therefore abandoned, and the 
attention of the Assembly was directed to enlarging and strengthening the City which 
Oglethorpe had founded." 

Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, p. 433. Vol. n, p. 19. 

* History of the Province of Georgia, &c., p. 25. Wormsloe, 1849. 
t Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 151. 


from the head of the said Dunham's swamp in a north 
west hne," were declared a parish by the name of St. 

In 1786^ regulations were prescribed for the inspection 
of Tobacco at a warehouse to be erected at Hardwick. 

By an Act, assented to on the 19th of December, 1793, t 
a new County was laid off from Chatham, and, in honor 
of a venerable patriot,:j: was called Bryan. 

The legislature which passed this Act constituted John 
Wereat, Kobert Holmes, James McGillivray, Wilham Clark, 
Simmons Maxwell, Thomas Collier, and Joseph Stiles, 
Commissioners for the town and commons of Hardwick, 
with power, upon three months' notice pubhshed in the 
Georgia Gazette, to cause a survey to be made, as nearly 
as possible, in conformity to the original plan of the place. 
This survey they were required to record in the office of 
the Surveyor of Bryan County ; and also in the office of 
the Surveyor General of the State. § 

Bj the second section of the Act these Commissioners 
were directed to sell at public vendue, to the highest 
bidder, at such time and place as they should deem best, 
and after published notice of six weeks in the Georgia 
Gazette, any vacant lots in the town, and any lots which 
should have become vested in the State of Georgia, reserving 
such only as might be proper for public uses. The proceeds 
arising from these sales were to be primarily apphed to the 
erection of a Court House and Jail ; and, if any balance re- 
mained in the hands of the Commissioners, it was to be ex- 
pended in building an Academy. Within three months after 

* Watkin's Digest, p. 339. 
tMarbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 167. 
+ Jonathan Bryan. 

§ Careful search fails to disclose a map of this survey either among the records of 
Bryan County, or in the State Archives, 


the completion of such sales these Commissioners were to 
make full return to the State Treasurer of the number 
of lots sold, the price which each brought, and of the 
application of the funds realized. 

On the 23rd of December, ITOl,"^ Hardwick was again 
designated, by special legislative enactment, as one of the 
points in Georgia for the erection of a pubhc ware-house, 
and the inspection and shipment of tobacco. 

Eight years afterwardst the Justices of the Inferior 
Court of Bryan County were authorized to lease, from 
time to time, and for a term not exceeding seven years, 
the common of Hardwick and the glebe lands of the 
County, and apply the rents and profits therefrom arising 
to the repair and improvement of the County roads and 

Although the Act of 1793 appointed Commissioners and 
provided for the erection of a County Court House and 
Jail at Hardwick, it does not appear that the contem- 
plated buildings were ever constructed. But few terms of 
the Superior Court were held at this place. As early as 
1797 the General Assembly of Georgia^ authorized the 
Justices of the Inferior Court of Bryan County to make 
permanent seat of the public buildings "at the Cross- 
Roads about two miles from Ogechee bridge, or at any 
other place within half a mile of the said Cross-Roads." 
For this purpose they were empowered to purchase land 
not exceeding two acres in extent. 

There the public business was transacted, until, in 1814, 
the Legislature! was induced to sanction the selection of 

* Marbury and Crawford's Digest, pp. Sii, 546. 
tidem., p. 160. 

t Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 174. 
§ Lamar's Digest, p. 211. 



a new site more central in its location and more con- 
venient of access to the inhabitants who had multiplied in 
the upper portion of the County. Godhilf Smith, Henry 
Sherman, James Martin, Zachariah Wells, and Luke Man 
were designated as Commissioners to sell the old lot and 
buildings at the cross-roads, and purchase in behalf of 
the County a parcel of ground at the new site to be 
chosen at or near Mansfield, on the Canouchee river, and 
superintend the erection thereon of new public buildings. 

Thus, instead of becoming the Capital of Georgia, Hard- 
wick soon ceased to be even the County-town of Bryan 

In Sibbald's "Notes and Observations on the Pine 
Lands of Georgia,"^' &c., written in 1801, we find the 
following notice of this village : " Hardwick, situated near 
the mouth of Ogeechee river in Bryan County, — the navi- 
gation being good, and having an extensive river running 
through a fertile country, — bids fair to arrive at some con- 
siderable degree of Importance." This promise was never 

From the best information we can obtain we are per- 
suaded that the population of Hardwick probably, at no 
time, exceeded one hundred souls. In 1824 Mr. Alexander 
Netherclift was the only resident ; and Sherwood, in his 
Gazetteer of the State of Georgia for 1829,t speaks of 
Hardwick simply as "a cluster of houses in Bryan." 
Among those who, from time to time, were inhabitants 
of the place, may be mentioned Mr. Clark, Dr. Ward, Mr. 
Mifilen, Dr. John Jenkins, Dr. Anthony Benezet, Dr. T. J. 
Charlton, Dr. Louis Turner, and Mr. William Savage. The 

* Page 65. Augusta, 1801. 
t Page 116. 


commerce of Hardwick was never large, and was con- 
ducted by means of small craft plying between it and Sa- 
vannah. Sloops and schooners sufficed, with occasional 
trips, to convey to a market the agricultural products of 
the neighborhood, and in return to bring back plantation 

After the removal of the public buildings from the Cross- 
Roads, and upon the completion of the causeway through 
the swamp and of the bridge over the Great Ogeechee 
river, — thereby establishing immediate and convenient com- 
munication by land with Savannah, — the trade of Hard- 
wick declined, and its small stores, — abandoned of their 
keepers, — lapsed into decay. 

The bluff upon which the town was located rises about 
fourteen feet above the level of the Great Ogeechee, and 
is distant some two miles from Genesis' Poiut, to which 
Fort McAllister gave such heroic memories during the 
Confederate struggle for independence. In front, stretching 
to the north, is a point of land or peninsula. On the west 
the fresh waters of the Great Ogeechee river lave the Hard- 
wick bluff, and then treading northward, and at right 
angles to the general course of the stream, by a graceful 
bend to the east embrace the northern extremity of the 
peninsula. Again turning to the south, the river reaches 
the eastern bluff of the town, where, curving gently, it 
pursues its course, emptying through Ossabaw sound into 
the Atlantic Ocean. This peninsula in front of the town 
constitutes a dividing line between the fresh and brackish 
waters of the river. At the point where it springs from the 
bluff it is less than a quarter of a mile wide, although a 
journey of several miles is requisite to complete its circuit 
bv water. 


SAKDWtCK. 231 

From tlie bluff, backward toward the south, extends a 
high and dry plain adapted for the location of a town. The 
surroundings, however, were unhealthy during the Summer 
and Fall months, and there was nothing to encourage popu- 
lation, or ensure the continuance and prosperity of the 

In 1866 a feeble effort was made to revive the town of 
Hardwick ; and the Georgia Legislature on the 21st of 
March of that year passed an act the leading provisions 
of which are as follows : 

After reciting the fact that the Commissioners of Hard- 
wick had long ago departed this life, that the site of the 
town and its common had been regranted by the State to 
private individuals, and suggesting the advisability that 
Hardwick should be reestablished for the better advance- 
ment of the industrial resources of the State, the Act ap- 
pointed Jacob M. Middleton, Thomas C. Arnold, William 
Patterson, Henry E. Smith, and John W. MagiU, Commis- 
sioners, and authorized them to acquire by cession or pur- 
chase the town of Hardwick and its common "not to 
exceed one hundred and fifty acres in extent." Having 
obtained proper titles to the land, these Commissioners, 
or a majority of them, were directed to have the town of 
Hardwick surveyed and laid out into lots of such form 
and dimensions as they should deem fit. Plans of the 
town were to be by them filed in the office of the Clerk 
of the Superior Court of Bryan County, and in the office 
of the Surveyor General of the State. 

Full power was vested in them to sell the town lots, 
except such as they might determine to reserve for pubHc 
uses. Upon completion of the survey, and upon filing 
plans of the town in accordance with the requirements of 


the Act, the Commissioners were authorized to select one 
of their number as an Intendant. Thereupon they were 
declared incorporated by the name and style of the "In- 
tendant and Commissioners of the town of Hardwicke," 1 11 
with power to make such by-laws and regulations for its 
good order and government as were not repugnant to the 
constitution and laws of Georgia, and of the United States. 

Although fortified by this legislation, no action was taken 
by the Commissioners, three of whom are now dead. 

Hardwick exists only in name, and will probably never 
be vitalized into a municipal entity. 



Near the close of a spring day in 1776 Mr. William Bar- 
tram, who, at the request of Dr. Fothergill, of London, 
had been for some time carefully studying the flora of Car- 
olina, Georgia, and Florida, forded Broad river just above 
its confluence with the Savannah, and became the guest of 
the commanding ofiicer at Fort James. This fort, — which 
he describes as " a four-square stockade with saliant bas- 
tions at each angle, mounted with a block-house, where are 
some swivel guns, one story higher than the curtains which 
are pierced with loop-holes, breast-high, and defended by 
small arms," — was situated on an eminence in the forks 
of the Savannah and Broad, equidistant from those rivers 
and from the extreme point of land formed by their union. 

Fort Charlotta. was located about a mile below on the 
left bank of the Savannah. 

The stockade of Fort James was an acre in extent. 
Within this enclosure were a substantial house for the 
commandant, officers' quarters, and barracks for the gar- 
rison, consisting of fifty rangers well mounted, and armed 
each with a rifle, two dragoon pistols, a hanger, a powder 
horn, a shot pouch, and a tomahawk.* 

For a distance of two miles the peninsula above the fort 
was laid out for a town called Dartmouth in honor of the 
Earl who had exerted his influence in procuring from the 

♦Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., pp. 321, 322. London, 1792. 


King a grant and special privileges in favor of the Indian 
Trading Company of Georgia. For the defense of the ter- 
ritory known as the New Purchase, had this fort been erect- 
ed and maintained. 

Dartmouth never realized the expectations which, in its 
infancy, had been formed for it. After a short and feeble 
existence it gave place to Petersburg which, during the 
tobacco culture in Georgia, attracted to itseK a consider- 
able population and was regarded as a place of no little 
commercial importance. 

For the convenience of the early settlers of Eastern- 
Middle Georgia, Dionysius Oliver was, on the 3rd of Feb- 
ruary, 1786, authorized by the Legislature* to erect a 
warehouse on his land, lying in the fork between the Sav- 
annah and Broad rivers, for the inspection and storage of 
tobacco. With the location of this warehouse dates the 
commencement of the town of Peteksbukg. 

The cultivation of tobacco was then enlisting the atten- 
tion of many planters. In the lower counties of the State 
the production of silk had ceased to be remunerative, and 
the tillage and manipulation of indigo had not yielded the 
profits anticipated. 

Cotton was little grown. Many of the early inhabitants 
of the present counties of Elbert, Lincoln, Wilkes, and 
Oglethorpe, came from Virginia and brought with them not 
only a love for the weed, but a high appreciation of tobacco 
as an article of prime commercial value. The virgin lands 
of this region were found well adapted to its cultivation : 
and, as a consequence, this plant grew rapidly into general 
favor and proved the staple commodity or market crop of 
the farmers. As the existing laws of the State forbade 

*Watkins' Digest, p. 325. 


its exportation without previous inspection and the payment 
of specified fees, it became necessary to establish pubHc 
warehouses at convenient points where the inspection and 
storage of this article could be had. No hogshead or 
cask of tobacco could be shipped which did not bear the 
stamp of some "lawful inspector."^ These inspectors were 
required to give bond for the faithful performance of their 
duties, and it was made obligatory upon them to attend 
continuously at their respective warehouses from the first 
of October to the first of August in each year. It was 
their duty carefully to inspect, weigh, receipt for, and stamp 
each hogshead delivered at the warehouse. The hogshead 
or cask was "not to exceed forty -nine inches in length, 
and thirty-one inches in the raising head." Its weight, 
when packed, was to be not less than nine hundred and 
fifty pounds nett. It was not customary in those primitive 
days to transport these hogsheads upon wagons. Vehicles 
of all sorts w^ere scarce. The hogshead or cask being made 
strong and tight, and having been stoutly coopered, was 
furnished with a temporary axle and shaft, to which a horse 
was attached. By this means was it trundled to market or 
to the public warehouse. Water courses also were freely 
taken advantage of for the conveyance of tobacco. The 
location of this public warehouse at the confluence of the 
Broad and Savannah rivers proved most acceptable to the 
tillers of the soil in this rich region, and speedily attracted 
merchants who, there fixing their homes, became purchasers 
of the tobacco when inspected, and in return sold to the 
planters such supplies as they needed. 

Petersburg soon assumed the proportions of a respectable 
village. It was regularly laid off in town lots, with conve- 

* See Watkins' Digest, p. 444, 


nient streets intersecting each other at right angles. The 
tobacco warehouses and shops were located as near the 
point formed by the confluence of the rivers as the nature 
of the ground and the liability to overflow would permit. 
The residences were situated above, and occupied lots, each 
about three quarters of an acre in extent. 

In 1797 "William Watkins secured from the Legislature* 
the right to establish upon his lots, — 35 and 37, — in the 
town of Petersburg, an extensive warehouse for the inspec- 
tion and storage of tobacco. 

By an actf of the General Assembly assented to No- 
vember 26th, 1802, eighteen of the principal citizens of the 
town were incorporated into a society " under the name 
and style of the Petersburg Union Society." The avowed 
objects of this association were the diffusion of knowledge 
and the alleviation of want. It maintained an active ex- 
istence for some years and exerted a marked influence for 

On the first of December, 1802, J Eobert Thompson, Le- 
roy Pope, Richard Easter, Samuel AYatkins, and John 
Ragland were appointed Commissioners of the town of 
Petersburg, and were charged with its "better regulation 
and government." They were to hold office until the first 
Monday in January, 1804. Then, and on the first Mon- 
day in ever}^ January thereafter, the citizens entitled to 
vote for members of the General Assembly were required 
to choose by ballot five persons to act as Commissioners 
of the town. These Commissioners were invested "with 
full power and authority to make such by-laws and regula- 
tions, and to inflict or impose such pains, penalties, and 

*Watliins' Digest, p. 658. 
t Clayton's Digest, p. 58. 
$ Clayton's Digest, p. 92. 



forfeitures as in their judgment should be conducive to 
the good order and government of the said town of Peters- 
burg :" provided such by-laws and regulations were not 
repugnant to the constitution and laws of Georgia, and 
that the pains and penalties contemplated did not extend 
to life or member. 

Two years afterwards ^ the powers of these Commission- 
ers were materially enlarged, and they were directed to 
have a correct plat of the town and commons made by the 
County Surveyor and recorded in the office of the Clerk 
of the Superior Court of Elbert County. 

Speaking of Petersburg in 1800, Mr. George Sibbald 
says :t " In point of situation and commercial consequence 
it is second only to Augusta. ^ * It is a handsome, 
well built Town, and presents to the view of the astonished 
traveller, a Town which has risen out of the Woods in a 
few years as if by enchantment : It has two Warehouses 
for the Inspection of Tobacco." 

So long as the cultivation of tobacco engrossed the atten- 
tion of the planters in the circumjacent region, Petersburg 
continued to be a place of considerable commercial impor- 
tance. In the zenith of its prosperity it contained a dis- 
tributing post-office, a market place, a town-hall, several 
churches, and not less than forty stores and warehouses. 
Its population then has been estimated at between seven 
and eight hundred souls. During the early part of the 
present century its trade was greater than that of Augusta. 
It is claimed that goods of a superior quality were then 
there sold, and in greater quantities, and at cheaper rates. 
A large and lucrative business was transacted by the Peters-^ 

* Clayton's Digest, p. 182. 

t " Notes and Observations on the Pine Lands of Georgia," &c., pp. 62, 63. Augusta, 


burg boats, which, along the line of the Savannah river, 
constituted the favorite common carriers of passengers and 
goods. The existence of the town was due to the concen- 
tration at this point of the tobacco crop of a considerable 
area. The necessity for a rigid inspection of this product 
forced the planters to bring it here. With Petersburg the 
presence of this plant was emphatically the cause of popu- 
lation and the parent of trade. After inspection, most of 
it was purchased on the spot by merchants and speculators, 
who, from their full stores, supplied every need of the pro- 
ducers. Thence was it shipped to Augusta and Savannah. 
So soon, however, as the cotton plant began to assert its 
ascendency, the fortunes of the town commenced to wane. 
Requiring no inspection, and capable of easy shipment from 
any convenient point, the cotton bales were sent to various 
bluffs along the river for transmission to the coast ; and thus 
it came to pass that with the discontinuance of the tobacco 
culture Petersburg dwindled away and died. Sickness, and 
the attractions of new and fertile fields in Alabama hast- 
ened its ruin : — and now sunken wells and the mounds of 
fallen chimneys are all that attest the former existence of 
the town. Its corporate limits are wholly included within 
the confines of one well-ordered plantation ; and extensive 
fields of corn and cotton have obliterated all traces of ware- 
house, shop, town-hall, church, and dwelling. 

Beneath the conserving shadows of tall trees which mark 
the outlines of the old cemetery on the left bank of Broad 
river may still be seen numerous graves, fresh and green 
when the town was replete with hfe, but neglected and over- 
grown with brambles now that the village too is dead. 


A few sleepy houses mark the spot where Lisbon,^ with 
envious eye, in former years viewed across Broad river the 
rising fortunes of Petersburg ; and, beyond the Savannah, 
narrowly scanned the efforts made by Vienna to participate 
in the lucrative tobacco trade. 

Federal-Town, in Washington County, on the east bank 
of the Oconee, was another of these Tobacco villages. It 
perished so soon as the cultivation of. cotton became general 
in the region, and its fort was no longer required as a pro- 
tection against the incursions of the Creeks. 

Deprived of the vitalizing influence of the tobacco trade, 
Harrisburgh, Edinborough, and other small towns desig- 
nated as sites for the inspection of this crop, speedily lapsed 
into disuse and decay. 

Not infrequently a change in the location of public build- 
ings dealt a death-blow to villages of moderate size and 
feeble support. Take, for example, the old town of Jack- 
SONBOROUGH, confirmed as the county seat of Screven county 
on the 15th of February, 1799.t As late as the 20th of 
December, 1823, an act J of the Legislature, passed for its 
incorporation, designated the Court House as the centre 
of the town, and extended the corporate limits a half mile 
in every direction. Five years afterwards the " Jackson- 
borough Methodist Episcopal Chuich" was incorporated.§ 
The business of the county was, for some forty years and 
more, mainly transacted at this place. Here, too, for some 

* The original name of tliis village was the Town of Lincoln. See Sibbald's " Notes and 
Observations on the Pine Lands of Georgia," &c., p. 63, Augusta, 1801. 
t Marbury and Crawford's Digest, p. 177. 
t Dawson's Digest, p. 450. 
§ Dawson's Digest, p, 109. 


time, resided Mr. John Abbot, whose work upon the Lep- 
idopterous Insects of Georgia is still highly prized by the 
students of Natural History. Upon the removal of the 
public buildings to Sylvania in 1847, this place was robbed 
of all importance. It was speedily abandoned ; and now 
a few sherds of common pottery scattered over the surface 
of the ground are all that is left to remind the visitor 
that the tide of life was once here. 

For more than a quarter of a century Hartford was a 
thriving town and the capital of Pulaski county.^ When 
in 1837t the Court House and jail were transferred to Haw- 
kinsville, ruin and decay overtook the place, and at pres- 
ent there is little else save silence, desolation, and sea- 
shells on the abandoned Ocmulgee bluff. 

Alarmed at the murders committed by the Cherokees, 
the Friends forsook their neat abodes above Augusta ; and, 
for quite a century, no memory of that primal settlement 
has been perpetuated in the neighborhood except by the 
" Quaker-Spring." 

Military posts, maintained for temporary purposes, event- 
ually fall into disuse and live only in history. We have 
already seen Ifow the fortifications, erected for the protection 
of the southern frontier of the Colony, when the Spanish 
war-cloud had vanished returned to the dust from which 
they sprang. Rendered unnecessary by the overleaping 
tide of population some were transferred to the outer verge. 

♦Clayton's Digest, p. 606. 

t Pamphlet Laws of 1836, p. 103. 


and these in turn were abandoned upon the assured occu- 
pancy of the disputed territory. 

Fort Barrington, — its mission ended, — long ago crumbled 
into nothingness beside the yellow waters of the Alatamaha. 
By DeBrahm's plan and local memories is it preserved from 
utter oblivion. Forts Early, Gaines, Haivhins, James, 
Lawrence, Perry, Scott, Wayne, and Wilkinson, — and others, 
once potent for protection, and important in the military 
operations of the State, — deserted alike by soldier and 
Indian have utterly perished, and the tillers of the soil 
run their peaceful furrows over areas once swept by their 

What subsequently became the site of the little town of 
Fbancisville, in Crawford County, was at first selected and 
used by Colonel Benjamin Hawkins as a convenient locality 
for the transaction of the important duties confided to 
him by Mr. Jefferson. Here, upon the left bank of the 
Flint river, and on the line of what was afterwards the 
established route between Macon and Columbus, he resided 
for a number of years : devoting his energies to the exe- 
cution of the trust devolved upon him as United States 
Agent to the Creek Indians, striving to ameliorate their 
condition, and by his judicious influence and management 
perpetuating amicable relations between them and the 
whites. During his occupancy of the Old Agency, as it 
came to be known, this place gave manifest indications of 
thrift and activity. A considerable plantation was formed, 
with residence, mills, work-shops, store-houses, and appur- 
tenances requisite for comfort, security, and the conduct 
of the business connected with this advanced post. Hither 
the Indians repaired for supplies at stated intervals. With 



them an extensive traffic was maintained. Aside from the 
performance of his official duties, Colonel Hawkins devoted 
much attention to rearing cattle and hogs. So extensive 
became his herd that at one time he is said to have pos- 
sessed not less than five hundred calves. The care of these 
animals, and the details of the agency furnished employ- 
ment for many subordinates. The Flint river was utilized 
as a convenient dividing line to separate the grown kine 
from their young. Across this stream a substantial bridge 
was constructed, with a gate at either end. This large 
stock of cattle and swine enabled him to entertain the 
Indians, — who constantly visited him, — with abundant al- 
though primitive hospitality, and materiall}^ assisted in per- 
petuating the kindly and wide-spread influence which he 
exerted over them. While he lived, his cattle brand was 
rigidly respected by the Red men ; although, soon after 
his death, if report be true, the Creeks, — oblivious of former 
obligations, — stole numbers of these cows and hogs. Col- 
onel Hawkins was a man of decided mark. To him does 
the State of Georgia owe a debt of special gratitude. His 
Sketch of the Creek Country* is a most valuable and in- 
teresting contribution. The French General Moreau who, 
while in exile, was for some time his guest, was so much 
impressed with his character and labors that he pronounced 
him one of the most remarkable men he had met in 
America. "Under the faithful proconsular sway of Col. 
Hawkins," says Mr. Chappell,t " the Creek Indians enjoyed 
for sixteen years, unbroken peace among themselves and 
with their neighbors, and also whatsoever other blessings 
were possible to the savage state, which it was his study 

* Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. ni, part i. Savannah, 1848. 
t Miscellanies of G-eorgia, part i, p. 67. Columbus, 1874. 


gradnally to ameliorate. To this end he spared no pains. 
Much was done to initiate, instruct, and encourage them 
in the lower and most indispensable parts of civilization. 
Pasturage was brought into use, agriculture also, to some 
extent; both together supplanting considerably among them 
their previous entire reliance for food on hunting, fishing, 
and wild fruits. To the better and more secure modes of 
obtaining a livelihood which civilization offers, he sought 
to win them by example as well as bj precept. He brought 
his slaves from North Carolina, and, under the right con- 
ceded to his office, he opened and cultivated a large plan- 
tation at the Agency on Flint river, making immense crops 
of corn and other provisions. He also reared great herds 
of cattle and swine, and having thus alwaj^s abundance of 
meat and bread, he was enabled to practice habitually 
towards the Indians a profuse, though coarse hospitality 
and benevolence which gained their hearts and bound them 
to him by ties as loyal and touching as those of old feudal 
allegiance and devotion." 

Here Colonel Hawkins died in 1816, and was buried on 
the wooded bluff overlooking the Flint river, a few hundred 
yards below the point of the present crossing. No stone 
marks his grave. Among the scattered and almost oblite- 
rated mounds in this lonely and forsaken cemetery is one 
more prominent than the rest. It may designate the precise 
place of his sepulture. 

For several years after the death of this prominent man, 
who gave impulse and direction to all about him, neglect 
and decay supervened. New life was infused into the set- 
tlement, however, by Francis Bacon, of Massachusetts, who, 
having married Jeffersonia, — the youngest daughter of Col. 
Hawkins, — established himself upon the site of the Old 


Agency, about 1825, and founded the town of Francisville. 
Traffic with the surrounding country was freely invited. 
Being a man of means, of intelligence, and of enterprise, 
matters prospered. Other settlers, attracted by the pros- 
pect for gain, purchased lots of about an acre in extent and 
located themselves on both sides of the pubhc road. Sev- 
eral dry goods and grocery stores, a wagon manufactory, a 
blacksmith shop, a drug store, a church, a public school, a 
tavern, and a post-office were in time built. From 1830 to 
1850 the town had an average population of about one 
hundred whites. Much business was here transacted. 

Upon the completion of the railway running from Macon 
to Columbus the resident merchants sought other and more 
convenient localities. Trade languished, was then wholly 
diverted, and the town speedily disappeared. Cotton fields 
now usurp the domain formerly occupied by the village. 

The traveler from the south as he crosses the Flint river, 
ascends a long rocky hill, and passes through a narrow lane 
on the top, discerns no traces of this dead town. The Old 
Agency, — once so important in the early days of this sec- 
tion, — exists only in tradition. Francisville, which was 
builded upon its ruins, has fallen into nothingness. Tall 
trees and a tangled undergrowth hide the graves of the 
dead, and there is little else save silence and forgetfulness. 
Even the earth-mound which covers the bones of the famous 
Colonel Benjamin Hawkins is incapable of positive recog- 
nition, and rests under the common oblivion which has 
overtaken all. 



DeBrahm in his History of the Province of Georgia* 
furnishes us with the following classification of the Towns 
in the Province : 

"Besides the Metropolis of Savannah upon Savannah 

Stream, 17 miles from the Sea, 

Are 4 Sea Port Towns, 

Hardwick upon Great Ogetchee Stream 

Sunburj upon Midway Stream 


upon Alatamaha Stream 


4 Towns upon 

navigable fresh water streams 

Brandon ("^^ upon little Eiver, is navigable only to the 

Cataract above Augusta, 200 miles from the Sea. 

Augusta upon Savannah Stream 150 miles from the Sea. 

Queensbury in the Fork of Lambert's River and Great 

Ogetchee Stream, 120 miles from the Sea/^^ 

Ebenezer upon Savannah Stream 57 miles from the Sea. 

4 Villages of which 

two are upon a navigable River, 

* Wormsloe, 1849, pp. 25, 26. 

(a) Since Gov. Wright's Administration this Place (being deserted in Gov'r Eeynolds' 
time by Edmond Grey) revived again nnder the name of Wrightsborough inhabited 
by above 60 Families, and its Township contains about 200 Families all Quakers; 
they are indulged by the Gov'r; that no Person, but such as they approve, shall be 
permitted to settle among them. 

(6) Queensbury is inhabited by about 70, and its Environs by above 200 Families 
mostly Irish, from which it is generally called the Irish Settlement. 



upon Vernon Biver 

upon the Head of Yernon River!" 



The enumeration contained in "Histoire et Commerce 
des Colonies Angloises dans I'Amerique Septentionale,"^ 
is essentially similar : " On partage la Georgie en doux 
divisions. La Septentrionale comprend ; 



New-Ebenezer }- Yilles. Hampstead. 
Augusta J High-Gate. |- Yillages. 



La meridionale est moins peuplee, on n'y trouve que 

deux villes & un village. 

Frederica 1 ) 

y Yilles Barikmake [ Yillage." 
New-Inverness j 3 

Savannah and Augusta still exist and are justly reckoned 

among the most opulent, beautiful, and attractive cities of 

the Empire State of the South. In their locations the 

judgment of the early Colonists has been sanctioned by 

the favorable experience of nearly a century and a half. 

New Inverness has given place to Darien which, amid 

shifting fortunes, is still supported by the lumber trade 

and the rice crop of the Alatamaha. Of the memories 

of Frederica, Sunbury, New and Old Ebenezer, Bethany, 

Hardwick, and Abercorn, we have already spoken ; and 

it remains for us in a few words to mention some smaller 

and insignificant towns, projected in the early days of 

the Colony, which have long since lost their identity 

p. 235. A. La Haye, 1755. 



amid the changes of population and the vicissitudes of 

Brandon may be recognized as still maintaining a feeble 
existence in the later village of Wrightsboro, although its 
original features and peculiarities have encountered essen- 
tial modifications. The founder of Brandon was Edmund 
Grey, a pretending Quaker, who came from Virginia with 
a number of followers. A man of strong will and marked 
influence, he was nevertheless a pestilent fellow, and, dur- 
ing Governor Eeynolds' administration, was compelled to 
abandon his little town. He subsequently formed a settle- 
ment on the neutral lands lying between the Alatamaha 
and the St. Johns rivers. Thither flocked criminals, and 
debtors anxious to escape the just demands of their 

Brandon on Little river was revived by Joseph Mattock, 
a Quaker, who having obtained for himself and friends a 
grant of forty thousand acres of land, called the town 
Wbightsboeg in honor of Governor Sir James Wright, 
who favored the establishment of the new colony. Mr. 
Mattock hospitably entertained Mr. William Bar tram in 
1773, by whom he is described as a public spirited man 
about seventy years of age, hearty, active, and presiding 
as the chief magistrate of the settlement, t We recall no 
special incidents in the history of this town. Its life was 
uneventful, and at present it can scarcely claim even a 
nominal existence. 

*DeBrahm's History of the Province of Georgia, p. 30. Wormsloe, 1849. 

Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. i, pp. 406, 407. New York, 1847. 
+ Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, &c., pp. 35, 36. London, 1792. 


Between four and five miles southwest of Savannah, as 
its limits were at first ascertained, and on rising ground, 
the village of High-gate was laid out in 1733. Twelve 
families, — mostly French, — were here located. A mile to 
the eastward the village of Hampstead was formed the same 
year, and peopled by twelve families, — chiefly German. 
These settlers were engaged in gardening, and their prin- 
cipal business was to supply the inhabitants of Savannah 
with vegetables. Francis Moore, who visited these little 
towns in the spring of 1736, describes them as being 
" pretty," and says that the " Planters are very forward, 
having built neat Huts and clear'd and planted a great 
deal of Land." 

It would appear, however, that the prosperity of these 
villages was of short duration. We are informed that in 
1740 but two families remained at High-gate, while Hamp- 
stead was enth'elv abandoned."* 

For the protection of the few families to whom a home 
at Thunderbolt had been assigned, a small fort was erected ; 
but as early as 1737 it had faUen into decay. 

On the north-east point of Skidoway island, ten families 
were placed and a fort built in 1734. This attempt at colo- 
nization proved so unsuccessful that four years afterwards 
the village had disappeared and the fortification was in a 
deserted and ruinous condition. 

*For furtlier notices of these villages see 'Moore's Voyage to Georgia," p . 32. London, 
1744. "An Account Shewing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia," &c., p. 35. London, 

1741. "A State of the Province of Georgia, attested tipon Oath," &c., p. 10. London, 

1742. "Extract of the Rev'd Mr. John Wesley's Journal," &c., p. 61. Bristol, n. d. "A 
True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia," &;c., p. 109. Charles-Town, 1741. 
" An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia," &c., p. 51. 
London, 1741. 


A similar fatality attended the effort to plant a colony 
of ten families near the light-house on Tybee island the 
year after Savannah was settled. 

So long as Foet Argyle was garrisoned, the ten free- 
holders who established their plantations in its vicinity 
strove to render their cultivation profitable : but, upon the 
withdrawal of the Rangers, eight of them removed, and 
within a short time all signs of industry disappeared. 

The labors of the Scottish colonists at Joseph's Town 
were prosecuted but a few years, and that settlement was 
quickly numbered among the failures which occurred on 
every hand. 

Near fort St. Andrew on the north-east extremity of Cum- 
berland island grew up the village of Barrimackb, which, 
about 1740, embraced some twenty-four families. When 
General Oglethorpe's regiment was withdrawn, from the 
southern frontier, this town speedily died, and for more 
than a century all traces of its former existence have been 
entirely wanting. 

Similar is the history of the German village of gardeners 
and fishermen which stood near the southern end of the 
military road connecting Frederica with St. Simons. 

Of the meagre and uneventful lives of Acton and Yernon- 
burgh on Vernon river, of Goshen and Bethany near the 
Savannah, of Williamsburgh, and Fort Barrington on the 
Alatamaha, and 'of Queensbury on the Great Ogeechee, 
we feel scarce called upon to speak. Were we not dealing 
exclusively with the dead towns of Georgia, we might enume- 
rate others which, in their moribund condition and present 



dilapidation, perpetuate little more than the names and 
sites which they at first received. 

Of the more prominent plantations estabhshed at an early 
date we may mention those of Colonel Cochran, Captain 
Gascoin, and Lieutenant Horton on St. Simon's island, — 
of Messrs. Carr and Carteret on the main, — of Sir Francis 
Bathurst, Walter Augustine, Robert Williams, Patrick Tail- 
fer, Jacob Matthews, Mr. Cooksey, and Captain Watson on 
the Savannah river, — of Mr. Houstoun on the Little Ogee- 
chee, — of the Messrs. Sterling on the Great Ogeechee river, — 
of Messrs, Noble Jones, Henry Parker, and John Fallow- 
field on the Isle of Hope, — of Oxtead, the settlement of Mr. 
Thomas Causton on Augustine creek, — of the Hermitage, 
the abode of Hugh Anderson, — of Mr. Thomas Christie, — 
of the twenty German families sent over by Count Zinzen- 
dorf, — of Mr. William Williamson, — of the Trustees, com- 
mitted to the care of William Bradley, — of Mr. Thomas 
Jones, — and of president WiUiam Stephens at Bewlie. This 
last plantation consisted of a grant of five hundred acres at 
the mouth of Vernon river, and was confirmed by General 
Oglethorpe on the 19th of April, 1738. Of this place Mr. 
Stephens, on the '21st of March, 1739, writes as follows : " I 
was now called upon to give the Place a Name ; and there- 
upon naturally revolving in my Thoughts divers Places in 
my native Country, to try if I could find any that had a 
Resemblance to this ; I fancied that Beiolie, a Manor of his 
Grace the Duke of Montague in the Neiu Forest, was not 
unlike it much as to its Situation ; and being on the Skirts 
of that Forest, had Plenty of large Timber growing every- 
where near ; moreover a fine Arm of the Sea running close 
by, which parts the Isle of Wight from the main Land, and 
makes a beautiful Prospect ; from all which Tradition teUs 


US it took its Name and was antieutly called Beaulieu, 
though now vulgiaiiy Beiulie : only by leaving out the a in 
the first Syllable, and the u in the end of the last.""^ 

This is the true account of the original cession and 
naming of that attractive bluff rendered memorable in after 
years by the debarcation of Count D'Estaing on the 12th 
of September, 1779, and by the erection of formidable bat- 
teries for the protection of this approach to the cit}^ of 
Savannah during the Confederate struggle for independence. 

These plantations, and others which might be enumerated, 
have, loitli a single exception, so far as our information 
extends, lost all traces of primal occupancy and passed 
into the ownership of strangers. We allude to the beautiful 
plantation of Woemsloe on the Isle of Hope. Of this 
interesting spot we have the following description penned 
by an intelligent visitor who made his observations in 1743. 
He was then, in an open boat, journeying towards Savannah 
from St. Catharine's island, where a short season had been 
spent in the companionship of the friendly Indians who 
were dwellers there. " We arrived in somewhat more than 
two Days at the Narroivs where there is a kind of Manclie- 
colas Fort for their Defence, garrison'd from Wormsloe, 
where we soon arriv'd. It is the settlement of Mr. Jones 
10 Miles S. E. of Savannah, and we could not help observ- 
ing as we passed, several very pretty Plantations. 

" Wormsloe is one of the most agreeable Spots I ever 
saw, and the Improvements of that ingenious Man are very 
extraordinary : He commands a Company of Marines who 
are quarter'd in Huts near his House, which is also a tol- 
erable defensible Place with small Arms. From the House 

*"A Journal of tlie Proceediugs in Georgia," &c., vol. u, pp. 166, 318, 319. London, 


there is a Yista of near three Miles cut thro' the Woods to 
Mr. Whitefield's Orphan House, which has a ver}'- fine Effect 
on the Sight."^ 

After concluding his visit to Sayannah, this gentleman 
" set out in one of Captain Jones s Scout Boats mann'd by 
a Party of his Marine Co}npoMy, and had a very pleasant 
Passage to Fort Frederick on the Island of Port Boycd in 
South Carolina.'' -f 

Noble Jones, the proprietor of Wormsloe, was a Lieu- 
tenant commanding thirty men, — volunteers and enlisted 
from Savannah, — in General Oglethorpe's expedition against 
St. Augustine. He was subsequently assigned to the com- 
mand of a scout and guard boat and a company of marines 
to watch the " Narrows at Skedowa}^ " and the " Inlets of 
the near adjoining Sea ;" more especially " those near him 
of Wassaw and Ussuybaw, lest any surprise should hap- 
pen." His guard-boat was armed " with a small swivel 
Gun " in the bow ; and, in February, 1741, upon the appear- 
ance of a Spanish Privateer on the coast, " One of our 
smartest Pieces of Cannon," says Stephens, " carrying a 
four Pound Ball, and well mounted," was delivered to him 
to assist in the coast defense. J 

At Wormsloe may still be seen the remains of the Tabby 
Fortification constructed by Captain Noble Jones. The 
outhne of the work and its general features are well pre- 
served, and constitute, perhaps, the most unique and inter- 
esting historical ruin on the Georgia coast. 

With aU its wealth of magnificent live-oaks, palmettoes, 
magnolias, and cedars ; with its quiet, gentle views, balmy 

* London Magazine for 1745, p. 552. 
tidem, p. 604. 

J Stephens' Journal of Proceedings, vol. ii, pp. 472, 492, 497. 
Idem, vol. iii, pp. 13, 16, 17, 124, 206. London, 1742. 


airs, soft sunlight, inviting repose, and pleasant traditions, 
this beautiful residence has at all times remained in the 
possession and ownership of the descendants of the original 
proprietor. Mr. G. W. J. DeKenne now guards the spot 
with all the tender care and devotion of a most loyal son, 
and to the memories of the past has added literary and 
cultivated associations in the present, which impart new 
charms to the name of Wormsloe. 

In this youthful country, so careless of and indifferent 
to the memories of other days, — so ignorant of the value 
of monuments and the impressive lessons of antiquity,— 
where no law of primogeniture encourages in the son the 
conservation of the abode and heirlooms of his fathers, — 
where new fields, cheap lands, and novel enterprises at 
remote points are luring the loves of succeeding genera- 
tions from the gardens which delighted, the hoary oaks 
which sheltered, and the fertile fields which nourished 
their ancestors, — where paternal estates are constantly 
alienated at public and private sales, — landed acquisitions 
are placed at the mercy of speculative strangers, and 
family treasures, established inheritances, and old home- 
steads are seldom preserved. Thus it comes to pass 
that ancestral graves lie neglected, abodes once noted 
for refinement, intelligence, virtue, and hospitality lose 
their identity in the ownership of strangers, and tradi- 
tions worthy of transmission, are forgotten amid the 
selfish engagements of an alien present. 

The utilitarian may smile at this, the Republican rejoice 
in it as a logical sequence of his cherished theories, and 
the disciples of Benjamin Franklin pronounce in favor 
of such a condition of affairs, but there is a deal of sad- 
ness about it nevertheless ; and if this order of things 


obtain in the coming years as it has in those which are gone, 
America will continue to be largely a land without perma- 
nent homes, — a country devoid of ancestral monuments: 

In planting colonies where proper preliminary surveys 
have not been made, and where the founders are com- 
pelled in large measure to grope their way in selecting 
points for earliest occupancy, errors of judgement will 
occur, and changes will be necessitated upon a more 
intimate acquaintance with the territory and during the 
progress of development. Locations at first deemed es- 
sential become subordinate to others, and sometimes 
prove of no value. Mistakes are committed with regard 
to the importance of streams, lines of communication, and 
the desirability of permanent seats. Defensive positions 
are rendered useless as the tide of human life advances. 
Barren fields are exchanged for others possessing greater 
fertility. Diseases are developed at certain points which 
compel their abandonment. 

Settlements increase. to the annihilation or absorption of 
others in their vicinity. The possessions of the many 
become concentrated in the ownership of the few. Towns 
perish for lack of support. Thus nothing is more common 
than to observe, amid the changes consequent upon the 
development of new plantations, a mortality among vil- 
lages and settlements for which, at the outset, growth and 
lasting prosperity were confidently anticipated. 

"It hath been a great endangering to the health of 
some plantations," says Lord Bacon, "that they have built 
along the sea and rivers in marish and unwholesome 
grounds ; therefore though you begin there to avoid car- 
riage and other like discommodities, yet build still rather 
upwards from the stream, than along. 


Had this precaution been observed, fewer towns would 
have died in Georgia. 

After all, however, despite the admonitions of the wisest 
and the foresight of the most experienced, we cannot 
hope to arrest the potent influence of inherent decay, or 
to stay that unseen hand which remorselessly worketh 
change and destruction among human habitations. 

" Out upon Time ! it will leave no more 

Of the things to come than the things before ! 

Out upon Time ! who forever will leave 

But enough of the Past for the Future to grieve 

O'er that which hath been, and o'er that which must be : 

What we have seen, our sons shall see ; 

Remnants of things that have pass'd away, 

Fragments of Stone rear'd by Creatures of Clay." 


Abercoen, 14 Its location and settlement, 
137. Saltzburgers refreshed at, 138. 
Mr. Stephens' visit to, 138-139. Oc- 
cupied by Col. Campbell, 140. Feeble 
life of, 139-140. 

Abbott, John, 240. 

African slaves, 171. 

Alexander, Dr. 222. 

Allen, Rev. Moses, 222. 

Alligators, 58. 

Amelia island, 59, 77, 97. 

Anastasia island, 85. 

Andrew, Benjamin, Sr., 206. 

Antrobus, Isaac, 157. 

Argyle, the Duke of, 91. 

Augspourguer, Samuel, 26. 

Bachelor's redoubt, 96. 

Bacon, Francis, 244. 

Baillie, Kenneth, 145, 146. 

Baker, Benjamin, 194, 222. 

Baker, John, 188. 

Baker, Captain John, 178. Colonel, 185, 222. 

Baker, Major William, 186, 200, 222. 

Barba, Captain Antonio, 108, 109. 

Barker, Joseph, 19. 

Barrimacke, village of, 97, 249. 

Bartram, William, visits Frederica, 128-129. 
His visit to, and description of Sun- 
bury, 169, 170. His description of 
Fort James, 233, 247. 

Belfast, Captain Spencer's exploit at, 199. 

Bergman, Kev. John Ernest, 40. 

Bermuda, emigrants from in Sunbury, 156. 

Bermuda-grass, 217. 

Bermuda island, 157, 169, 171. 

Bethany, 30. 

Bewlie, 250, 251. 

Black-Sloop, the privateer, 99. 

Blanford, the man of war, 67, 

Bloody-marsh, affair of, 108, 109. 

Bolzius, Rev. John Martin, 11, 14, 18, 25, 27, 

Bosomworth, Thomas, 155. 

Bosomworth, Mary, 155. 

Bowen, Commodore Oliver, 202. 

Braddock, Captain, affair with the Dun- 
more, 202. 

Brandon, village of, 245, 247. 

Brewery on Jekyll island, 93. 

British exactions, 197-199. 

Brooks, Francis, 78. 

Brownson, Governor Nathan, 222. 

Bryan, Jonathan, 178, 183. 

Bull, Lieutenant-Governor, 102. 

Bulloch, Archibald, 174. 

Bull-Town Swamp, affair at, 185. 

Cadogan, Lieutenant, 110. 

Call, Richard, 205. 

Campbell, Colonel, 140, 192, 194, 197. 

Canal, through General's island, 96. To 
connect Midway and North-Newport 
rivers, 158. 

Carney, Captain Arthur, 130. 

Carolina, refuses to aid Georgia, 102. 

Caroline, Queen, 26. 

Carr, Mark, cession of lands to, 143, 144. A 
marked man in the Colony, 143. Con- 
veys land to Trustees for Town of 
Sunbury, 145. 

Carr, Thomas, 155. 

Cathcart, Ensign, 88. 

Chappell, A. H., 242, 243. 

Christ Church, Parish of, 35. 

Cochrane, Lieut. Col. James, 60. 

Colonel's island, Fuser lands upon, 189. 

Commissioners for the port of Sunbury, 208. 

Commissioners of Frederica, 132, 133. 

Cook, Lieut. Col., 104. 

Cooper, Colonel, 178. 

Couper, John, 190. 

Cornish, Captain, 50, 52. 

Cotton, 24. 

Counties in Georgia in 1777, 172. 

Coweta-Town, 75. 

Craemer, Christopher, 36. 

Cruger, Col. 199, 200, 

Cumberland island, 59, 97. 

Cuthbert, Hon. Alfred, 222. 

Cuthbert, Hon. John A, 219, 222. 

Darien, 55. Description of, in 1743, 116. 

Dartmouth, Earl of, 127, 176. 

Dartmouth, town of, 233, 234. 

Dasher, Martin, 37. 

DeBrahm, John Gerar, William, 21, 30, 34 
225, 226, 245. 

D'Estaing, Count, 40, 200. 

Defatt, Captain, 183. 

Delegal, Ensign, G3. 



Delegal, Lieutenant, 63. 

Delegal's fort, 63. 

Demere, Captain Raymond, 94, 109, 110. 

DeRenne, Mr. G. W. J., 253. 

Desbrisay, Captain, 88. 

Destrade, 99. 

Dollar, Captain, 195. 

Dorchester settlement, 150. 

Dorchester Society, 149. Removal to Mid- 

Avay district, 150-154. 
Dunbar, Captain, 51, 104, 106, 108. 
Dunbar, Lieutenant George, 56, 81. 
Dunwody, Dr., 223. 

Ebenezer, Old. Location of, 13. Settle- 
ment of, 14-15. Accession to popula- 
tion of, 17. Sickness at, 17. Inhabi- 
tants of, dissatisfied with situation, 
18. Removal to New Ebenezer, 19. 

Ebenezer, New. Location of, 19, 20. Plan 
of the town of, 21. Condition of in 
1738-9, 21, 24. ailk-cultUre at, 25-30. 
Mill-establishment at, 32. Church 
property, 33. Librarj^ at, 34. Period 
of greatest prosperity of, 35. Divi- 
sion of sentiment at commencement 
of Revolutionary War, 36. Occiipied 
by Lieut. Col. Maitland, 36. Fortified, 
36. Sufterings of inhabtants of, 
during the war, 37 et seq. Decay of, 
40. Revival of the prosperity of, 40. 
Its decline, 41, 42. Made the County- 
town of Effingham County, 41. Re- 
moval of public buildings to Spring- 
field, 41, 42. Glebe lands of, sold, 42. 
Present appearance of, 43, 44. 

Edinborough, 239. 

Ef&ngham County, 35. 

Elbert, Col. S., 129. Reports capture of the 
Hiuchinbrooke, 130-131, 183, 187. 

Elberton, 41. 

Elfenstein, Jacob, 37. 

Elfenstein, Joshua, 37. 

Elliott, Grey, 145, 146. 

Elliott, John, 145, 146, 222. 

Ellis, Governor, 149, 179. 

Embarcation, the great, 15, 16. 

English language introduced into the Saltz- 
burger Churches, 42. 

Eyre, Ensign, 104. 

Falcon, the sloop, 99. 

Federal Town, 239. 

Few, Col., 199. 

Filature in Savannah, 27-29. 

Floerl, John, 36. 

Floyd, Gen. Charles, 219. 

Forces, estimate of Spanish and English, 
during the attack upon St. Simon's 
island, 115. 
Fort Argyle, 47, 48, 142, 181, 249. 

Augusta, 181. 

Barrington, 181, 241. 

Bartow, 183. 

Defence, 220. 

Diego, 81. 

Francis de Papa, 81. 

Frederick, 127, 128, 181. 

George, 180. 

Halifax, 180. 

Howe, 185. 

James, 233. 

Morris, 180-183. 

Picolata, 78. 

St. Andrews, 59, 61, 73, 97. 

St. Francis, 78. , 

St. George, 61, 180. ' 

St. Simons, 60, 61. 

William, 61, 97, 104, 105, 113, 181. 
ancisville, 241-244. 
Franklin, Dr. Benjamin, 146. 
Frederica, 17, 45, 48. Arrival of Colonists 
at, 51. Town and fort laid out, 51-53, 
Plan of the town, 53-54. Labors of 
the early settlers of, 54-55, Location 
of the town of, 55. Harbor of, 55-56. 
Attractions and health of the place, 
56, 57. Indian dance at, 60. Fort 
strengthened and water battery con- 
striicted, 61, 62. Supplied with water 
and bread, 62. Powder magazine and 
store-house built, 64. Courageous 
spirit of the inhabitants of, 64. Gar- 
rison reinforced by Oglethorpe's regi- 
ment, 67, 68, Military road connect- 
ing with Soldiers' fort, 68, 69. De 
pressing condition of affairs at, 70, 71 
Enclosed by a fortification, 72. Pop 
ulation of, in 1740, 94, 95. Defensive 
works and general appearance of, 96 
Spanish demonstration against, 107 
114. Strengthened by Oglethorpe 
117, 148. Magazine blown up, 119; 
Condition and appearance of in 1743 
119-126. Description of in 1747, 125^ 

126. Troops withdrawn from, 126; 
129. Visited by Governor Reynolds 

127. New defensive works suggested 
127. Visited by Bartram., 128,^ 129 
Col. Elbert's description of, in 1777; 
129. State legislation in regard to 
132, 134. Capture of the Hiuchin- 
brooke near, 130, 131. 



Frederica, Military works of, ordered to be 
repaired, 132. Town burnt, 13'2. Com- 
missioners of, appointed, 132, 133. 
Sibbald's description of, 134. Ceases 
to exist, 135. Kemble's description 
of its ruins, 136. 

French deserter. 111, 112. 

Fuser, Lieut. Col. 132, 158, 185. Threatens 
Sunbury, 189, 192. Summons Fort 
Morris to surrender, 189. Eaises the 
siege of Sunbury, 192. 

Galatea, escape of the, 132. 

General's island, canal cut through, 96. 

Georgia, original cession of lands to the 
Trustees of the Colony of, 47. 

Georgia's losses, 205. 

German village on St. Simon's island, 122, 

Germain, Lord George, 185, 

Gibbon, Ensign, 109, 110. 

Gibraltar, troops from, 66. 

Goldsmith, Captain, 200. 

Goshen, 30, 249. 

Gray, Lieutenant, 200. 

Greene, Gen. Nathaniel, 204. 

Grey, Edmund, 247. 

Gronau, Rev. Israel Christian, 11, 18, 25. 

Gwinnett, Button, 129, 156, 174, 222. 

Habersham, Mr., 29. 

Hall, Dr. Lyman, 173, 175, 177, 205, 222. 

Hampstead, village of, 248. 

Hardy, Captain, 114, 202. 

Hardwick, named in 1755, 224. Suggested 
as the Capital of Georgia, 224, 225. 
Fortifications for, planned by De- 
Brahm, 225. Grant of lands for set- 
tlers of, 225. State legislation in re- 
gard to, 227, 228, 231, 232. Ceases to 
be the County site of Bryan Co., 228, 
229. Sibbald's description of, 229. 
Population of, 229. Inhabitants of, 
229. Its commerce, 230. Its deca- 
dence, 229. Its location, 229, 230. 
Attempted revival of, 231. 

Harrington HalL 94. 

Harris, Dr., 70. 

Harrisburgh, 239. 

Hartford, 240. 

Hawkins, Col. Benjamin, 241-243. 

Heathcote, Alderman, 70. 

Hector, the man of war, 67. 

Hermsdorf, Captain, 15, 17, 51. 

Heron, Major, 88, 99, 106. 

High-Gate, 248. 

Highlanders, settlement of at New Inver- 
ness, 48, 49. Braverj' of, 49. Two, 
butchered on Amelia island, 77, 78. 

Highlanders, Killed at Fort Moosa, 87. 

Plantation of, on Amelia island, 97. 
Hinchinbrooke, capture of the, 130-131. 
Holsendorf, William, 37. 
Homer, Captain, 104. 
Horcasilas, General, 103. 
Horton, Mr., .50, 6.5, 71, 96. 
Horton, Captain, 105, 108, 113, 119. 
Houstoun, John, 174. 

Howe, Gen'l Robert, 130, 184, 185, 193, 194. 
Howell, Captain, 202. Att'air at Sunbury, 203. 
Howley, Richard, 222. 
Indian Allies, 97. 
Indian Chief, valor of, 89. 
Indian dance, 60. 
Indian depredations, 208, 209. 
Indian fields, 55. 
Ingham, Rev. Mr., 15. 
Innes, Col. Alexander, 197. 
Insurrection of negro slaves, 74, 75. 
Jackson, Major James, 187, 204. 
Jacksonborough, 239, 240. 
Jacksonborough Methodist Episcopal 

Church, 239. 
Jasper, Sergeant, 38. 
Jekyll, Sir Joseph, 68. 
Jerusalem Church, 25. 32, 36, 38, 39. 
Jones, Captain Joseph, 219. 
Jones, Major John, 200, 222. 
Jones, Captain Noble, 108, 251, 252. 
Jones, Hon. Noble W., 174. 
Joseph's Town, 137, 138, 249. 
Kelsall, Col. Roger, 203. 
Kemble, Frances Anne, 136. 
Kilpatrick, Gen. Judson, 189. 
Kitchen, James, 157. 
Kitchins, Collector, 203. 
Lamab, Captain C. A. L., 182. 
Lands, tenure of in Georgia, 144, 145. 
Lane, Major, 180, 191, 194. Surrenders Fort 

Morris, 195, 196. 
Law, William, 222. 
Lawrence, John, Jr., 125-126. 
Lawson, Captain John, 196, 202. 
Lee, Gen'l Charles, 183. 
Lee, Francis, 155. 
Lembke, Rev. Mr., 25, 32. 
Lewis, Captain Elijah, 209. 
Liberty County, 172, 176, 205, 208, 209, 210, 

218, 220. 
Liberty Independent Troop, 220. 
Library of New Ebenezer, 34. 
Lincoln, General Benjamin, 40, 200. 
Lisbon, 239. 

Lombe, Sir Thomas, 25. 
London Merchant, the ship, 50. 
Lord, Rev. Joseph, 150. 



Lyell, Sir Charles, 57. 

MacClellan, Captain, 119-120. 

MacKay, Captain Hugli, 49, 55, 58, 59, 73. 

MacKay. Lieutenant, 104,109. 

Magazine at Frederica, blown up, 119. 

Malatche, 155. 

Malcontents, 100, 101. 

Martin, John, 155, 205. 

Martyu, Benjamin, 21, 24, 26, 45, 46. 

Mattock, Joseph, 247. 

Maxwell, Lieutenant, 104. 

Maxwell, Captain, 202. 

Maxwell, James, 145, 146. 

Maybank, Col. Andrew. 178. 

McAllister, Matthew, 216. 

McCall, Captain Hugh, 108, 156, 195, 196, 201. 

McGirth, 185, 187, 202. 

Mcintosh, Col. John, 184, 189, 190, 191. 199, 

Mcintosh, John Moore, 49. 

Mcintosh, General Lachlan, 49, 130, 200. 

Mcintosh, Kory. 190. 

McPherson, Captain. 48, 50. 

McWhir, Rev'd Dr. Wm., 214, 215. 

Messias, Major, 219. 

Midnight, the sloop. 50. 

Midway, the district of, 147, 151, 188. 

Midway Congregation, 149-154, 170. 

Midway Meeting House, 170. Aftair near, 
186-188. Burnt by Prevost, 188. 

Midway river, 147, 148. 

Milton, John, 205. 

Miscellaneous plantations in Georgia, 250. 

Miscellaneous towns in Georgia, 245-246. 

Mistakes in early Colonization, 253-255. 

Molochi, 80. 

Monteano, Don Manuel de, 102, 112, 113. 

Moore, Francis, 16, 18, 50, 56, 58, 248. 

Moosa, fort, 84, 85. 

Moravians, 15. 

Morris, Fort, 180, 183. Invested by Lieut. 
Col. Fuser, 189, 192. Summoned to 
surrender, 189. Captured by Prevost, 
195, 196. Named changed, 196, 220. 

Moultrie, General Wm., 140, 198. 

Muhlenburg, Eev. Dr., 32. 

Mulberry trees, 26. 

Negeo slaves, 74, 205. 

NeAV Castle, the Duke of, 98. 

New Inverness, settlement of, 48. Descrip- 
tion of in 1743, 116. 

Newton, Sergeant, 38. 

Nitschman, Rev. David, 15. 

Norfolk, the sloop, 99. 

North Newport Bridge, affair at the, 186. 

Ogeechee Feekt, 188. 

Oglethorpe, James E., 12. 

Oglethorpe, Designates a settlement for 
the Saltzburgers, 13, 14. Accom- 
panies great embarcation. 16. Visits 
New Ebenezer, 18. Consents to a 
change in the location of the town, 
18. Suggests silk-culture in Geor- 
gia, 25, 26. Offers reasons for 
founding the Colony of Georgia, 46, 
47. Provides homes for emigrants, 

47. Explores the southern frontiers. 

48. Accompanies Colonists to Fred- 
erica, 51, 53. Locates town and forti- 
cations at Frederica, 51-54. Pre- 
scribes the labors of the settlers, 54. 
Disabuses the minds of the Colonists 
of the fear of alligators, 58. As- 
certains boundary line between 
Georgia and Florida 58, 59. Lo- 
cates Fort St. Andrews, 59: Fort 
William, 61 : and Fort St. George, 61. 
His activityandboldDessin protecting 
the southern frontier, 61, 62, 70, 71. 
Accomplishes temporary adjustment 
of disputes with the Spaniards in 
Florida, 64, 65. Embarks for England, 
65. Appointed General of all the forces 
in Carolina and Georgia. 66. Author- 
ized to raise a regiment, and com- 
missioned Colonel, 66. Raises his 
regiment, 66, 67. Arrives with troops 
in Jekyll Sound, 67. Constructs mili- 
tary road connecting Frederica and 
the Soldiers' Fort, 68, 69. Advises 
Alderman Heathqote and the Trustees 
of the depressing condition of affairs, 
70, 71. Attempted assassination of, 73, 

74. Propitiates the Indian nations, 

75, 76. Acts as one of the pall-bearers 
of Tomo-chi-chi, 76. Pursues the 
Spaniards, 78. Prepares for the re- 
duction of St. Augustine, 79-81. Cap- 
tures Forts Francis de Papa, and 
Diego, 81. Proposes to take St. Au- 
gustine "sword in hand," 82. Ad- 
vances upon and invests St. Au- 
gustine, 85-88. Raises the siege of 
that place, 88. Causes of his fail- 
ure to capture the town, 88-90. 
Conduct of, complimented by the 
Duke of Argyle, 91. Sick of a fever, 
91-92. Ceaseless activity of, 92, 93. 
His cottage near Frederica, 93, 94. 
Narrowly watches St. Augustine, 97, 
98. His control over the Indians, 
97, 98. Asks reinforcements from the 
Hom« Government, 98. His manly 
resolution, 99. 



Oglethorpe, Demonstration off the har- 
bor of St. Augustine, 99. Assailed by 
malcontents, 100, 101. His account 
of the Spanish attack upon St. Si- 
mon's island, 103-114. Estimate of 
his services, 115, 116. Congratulated 
by the G-overnors of the Colonies, 
117. Strengthens the fortifications of 
Frederica, 117. Invades Florida and 
threatens St. Augustine, 118. 

Oglethorpe, Departs for England, 119. 

Oglethorpe's regiment, 66. Mutiny in, 73, 
74, 92. 

Oglethorpe's Cottage near Frederica, 93, 94. 

Old Agency, the, 241-243. 

Oranges, wild, on Amelia island, 97. 

Osgood, Rev. Mr., 170. 

Ottolenghe, Mr., 28. 

Palmer, Col., 85. Killed at Fort Moosa, 

Parker, Sir Hyde, 197. 

Periaguas, 52, 71. 

Peter and James, the sloop, 52 

Petersburg. Its situation, 234. Declared 
a depot for the inspection and storage 
of tobacco, 234, Its plan, 235-236. 
Legislative provisions in reference 
to, 236. Sibbald's account of, 237. 
Its dwellings, stores, population, and 
trade, 237. A tobacco town, 238. Its 
decline, 238. 

Petersbux-g Union Society, 236. 

Petersburg Boats, 237-238. 

Peyton, Sir Yelverton. 67, 83, 85. 

Pinckney, Col. C. C, 184, 196, 220. 

Pike's Bluff, 96. 

Point Quartel, 85. 

Pray, Capt., 202. 

Prevost, Gen. Augustine, 185, 188. Cap- 
tures Sunbury, 195-196, 200. 

Prevost, Lieut. Col. Mark, 185, 186-188. 

Price, Charles, 201. 

Price, Commodore Vincent, 80. 

Proprietors of the Town of Sunbury, 159- 

Puritan element in 3t. John's Parish, 176, 

Quaker Spring, 240. 

Quarterman, Capt. Robert, 219. 

Queensbury, town of, 245. 

Rabenhorst, Mr., 32, 36, 37. 

Rahn, Jonathan, 37. 

Rattle-snakes, 58. 

Raven, 80. 

Reels, 29. 

Reynolds, Gov. John, visits Frederica, 127. 
Suggests new defenses, 127. 

Reynolds, Gov. John, locates Hard wick, 224, 
and suggests it as the capital of Geor- 
gia. 224-226. 

Riceboro, made the county seat of Liberty 
county, 216-217. 

Riceboro Bridge, affair at, 186. 

Road connecting Frederica and the Sol- 
dier's Fort, 68, 69. 

Road connecting Savannah and Darien, 55. 

Rodondo, Major General Antonio de, 102. 

Roman, Major, 187. 

Rudolph, Captain, 209. 

Salgrado, Don Antonio, 86. 

Sallett, Robert, 200. 

Salter, Captain, 196. 

Saltzburgers, 11. Arrival in Georgia, 12. 
Locate at Ebenezer, 13. Desire a 
change of settlement, 18. Change ef- 
fected, 19. Remove to New Ebenezer, 
20, et seq. : Occupations of, 23. Char- 
acter of, 24. Cultivation of silk by, 
25-30. Settlements of in Georgia, 30- 
31. Sufferings of during the Revo- 
lutionary war, 37, et secx. Removal 
of to various points, 42. 

Sanchio, Captain, 108. 

Savannah, evacuated, 204. 

Schnider, J. Gotlieb, 37. 

Schnider, John, 37. 

Schnider, Jonathan, 37. 

Screven, General, 186. Killed, 187, 207. 

Scroggs, Lieutenant, 108. 

Sea-Point Battery, 64. 

Sherwood, Abiel, 218. 

Sibbald, George, 134, 212, 229, 237. 

Silk -Culture in Georgia, 25-30. 

Skidoway Island, 248. 

Soldier's Fort, 67, 68. 

Spalding, Mr. James, 128. 

Spalding, Hon. Thomas, 69, 75, 94, 97, 98. 

Spanish Forces in Florida in January, 1740, 

82. In 1742, 102, 103. 

Spencer, Capt., exploit at Belfast, 199, 202. 

Springfield, 41. 

Spur, the, 62. 

St. Augustine, its defenses, 81. Reinforced, 

83. Invested by Oglethorpe, 83-84. 
Siege of, 84-88. Siege raised, 87-88. 
Causes of Oglethorpe's failure to cap- 
ture, 89, 90. Narrowly watched by 
Oglethorpe, 98. Scarcity of food in^ 
98. Demonstration of Oglethorpe be- 
fore the harbor of, 99. 

St. Augustine.Threatenedby Oglethorpe, 118 
St. Catherine, Island of, 155, 156. 
St. John. Parish of, 148, 149, 171, 172-178, 
193-199, 201. 



St. Matthew, Parish of, U, 35. 

St. Simon, Island of; its attractions, 57. 
Attack of the Spaniards upon, 103- 

St. Simon, village of, 96, 107. Destroyed by 
the Spaniards, 112. 

Stephens, William, 19, 65. Visits Ogle- 
thorpe, 91. Appointed Deputy Gen- 
eral of Georgia, 119. His description 
of Abercorn, 139. Owns and names 
Bewlie, 250, 251. 

Stevens, John, 145, 146. 

Stewart, General Daniel, 219, 222. 

Stiles, Captain, 202. 

Stirk, Col. John, 36, 37. 

Stirk, Secretary Samiiel, 37, 205. 

Strobel, Rev. P. A., 20, 32, 37, 43, 44. 

Strohaker, Rudolph, 37. 

Stuart, Lieutenant, 113. 

Success, the ship, 105, 106. 

Sunbury Academy, 222-215. Teachers of, 
215, 216. 

Sunbury Female Asylum, 218. 

Sunbxiry, Town of, its location, 141-143. 
Conveyance of 300 acres of land to 
the Trustees of, 145. Signification of 
the name of, 145, 146. Condition of 
the Midway District at the period of 
the settlement of. 149-154. Plan of, 
154. Declared a port of entry, 155. 
Emigrants from Bermuda in, 156. 
Commerce of, 157-158. Health of, 
158. Proprietors of, 159-169. Bar- 
tram's description of, 169, 170. Popu- 
lation of. at era of greatest prosperity, 

170. 171, Exports, and imports of, 

171. Character of its population, 171. 
Its wharves, 171. Its government, 

172. Rebellious spirit of its inhabi- 
tants, 175. Fort built at, 178, 179. 
Location, construction, and arma- 
ment of Fort Morris, 181-183 Threat- 
ened by Colonel Mark Prevost, 187. 
Invested by Lieut. Col. Fuser, 189- 
192. Siege raised, 192. Houses of, 
injured by the garrison, 193. Its de- 
pressed condition, 194. Reduction of 
Fort Morris, 195-196. Captured by 
Prevost, 195, 196. Languishes, 202. 
Affair of Captain Howell at, 203. In- 
crease of population, 205, 206. Chief 
Justice Walton's Charge to the Grand 
Jury in, 206, 207. Designated as the 
point for holding the Superior and 
Inferior Courts of Liberty County, 
208. Commissioners appointed for 
the port of, 208. 

Sunbury, Revival of the trade of, 208. 
Indian incursions in the neigh- 
borhood of, 208. Public acts for 
the regulation of, 210-212. Descrip- 
tion of, in 1801, 212. Sunbury Acade- 
my, 212-215. Removal of the public 
buildings to Riceboro, 216-217. De- 
cline and ill-health of, 217, 218. Sher- 
wood's description of, 218. Female 
Asylum, 218. Port rebuilt, 218. Fourth 
of July celebrations in, 220, 221. Its 
decadence, 221. Present condition of, 

221, 222. Its noted inhabitants, &c., 

222, 223. 
Siitherland, Lieutenant, 109. 
Symond, the ship, 50. 
Tannek, Mr., 50. 

Tennill, Lieutenant, 194. 

Thomas, Captain, 50, 52. 

Thompson, Captain, 105, 106. His descrip- 
tion of Frederica in 1747, 125, 126. 

Thunderbolt, 248. 

Tobacco, culture and inspection of in Geor- 
gia, 234, 235 

Tolson, Lieutenant, 105. 

Tomo-chi-chi, 48, 50 58, 60. Death and 
. burial of, 76, 77. 

Toonahowi 77, 81, 108. 

Treutlen, John Adam, 36, 37. 

Triebner, Rev. Christopher F. , 32, 36, 37, 40. 

Trustees of Sunbury, 145. 

Tuckasee— King, 41. 

Twiggs, Colonel, 199. 

Tybee, Island of 249. 

Tyrrell, Captain, 79 

Vandekdtjssen, Colonel, 79, 80, 85, 87, 88. 

Vatt, Mr., 15. 

Vernon, Admiral, 79, 98. 

Vienna, the Town of, 239. 

Von Reck, Baron, 12, 15. 

Waldhauek, Jacob, 36. 

Waller, the Poet, 143. 

Walton, Hon George, 205-207. 

Ward, Hon. John E., 222. 

Warren, Captain, 83, 86. 

Washington, General George, 214. 

Wayne, General Anthony, 40, 204. 

Wentworth, General, 103. 

Wesley, Rev. Charles, 15. 

Wesley, Rev. John, 15, 19, 22. 

West, Dr., 222. 

West, Major Charles, 178. 

White, Colonel John, 186, 187. His strata- 
gem, 187. 

Whitefield, Rev. George, 66, 115. 

White House, affair at the, 200. 

Winn, Captain John, 219. 



Wormsloe, plantation of, 251, Description 
of in 1743, 251-252. Tabby Fort at, 
252. Present appearance of, 253. 

Wright, Sir James, 29. Reports condition 
of Fort Frederick, 128 ; of Sunbury, 
157. Comments upon disloyalty of 
St. John's Parish, 176. 

Wright, Sir James. Reports dilapidated 
condition of the Forts on the Geor- 
gia coast, 180, 181, 247. 

YomsTG, Mr. Thomas, 199. 

ZioN Church, 25. 

Zittrauer, Ernest, 37. 

Zubly, Rev. Dr., 174. 

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